The Free Press, Mankato, MN


November 16, 2013

Our View: Highway 14 news is great

Why It Matters:

Thumbs up to to all of those who worked for decades to get the state to pay attention to a deadly stretch of Highway 14.

This week the state announced it will fund a four-lane upgrade between North Mankato and Nicollet in 2015 instead of two years later and will pay for a $15 million to $25 million bypass of Nicollet. The funding, announced by Gov. Mark Dayton, comes from the Corridors of Commerce program.

Highway 14 will also see a four lane upgrade between Owatonna and Dodge Center.

The announcement is rewarding to the Highway 14 Partnership, a group of elected, civic and business leaders, which has been lobbying for funding since the 1990s. The group showed that when communities band together for a common — and legitimate — goal, good results occur.

The Free Press has long been willing to participate in that effort through an in-depth series on the highway that highlighted its poor safety record in 2010 and was encouraged by the support the community gave to getting that information before legislators and doing the hard work of lobbying.

Still, the upgrade was painfully slow and is still incomplete. The partnership must continue to unify behind finishing the final stretch from New Ulm to Nicollet, resulting in a four-lane from New Ulm to Rochester.

And the local success does not address the state’s larger problem of continuing to fall further behind in paying for transportation infrastructure. Solving that problem is a major but necessary challenge for the governor and Legislature.

Better late than never on Gettysburg Address

Thumbs up to the Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pa., which on Thursday deemed it wise to retract a 150-year-old judgment by its Civil War-era predecessor, The Harrisburg Patriot & Union.

The Patriot & Union, a Democratic paper critical of President Lincoln, dismissed his Gettysburg Address, delivered some 35 miles from Harrisburg, as “silly remarks” deserving a “veil of oblivion.”

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