The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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October 4, 2013

Make Highway 14 priority in funding

Okay, okay, so the citizens of New Ulm and the area have proven that creating and building successful factories and industries, as well as establishing national and regional headquarters for large trucking firms, could be done without the the existence of a four-lane highway. But this does not justify the continuing practice of not funding the true need for four lanes.

Years ago, when I worked as the economic development coordinator for our City of New Ulm, the seminar presenters almost always began their program with these words — unless you are on an Interstate or four-lane highway, growth opportunities may not be possible. I began to wonder why I was attending these sessions.

New Ulm and the area’s skilled and dedicated workers proved this to be erroneous thinking, but to continue to ignore a basic and proven need is ludicrous. New Ulm is the largest Minnesota city without four lane access. Too many people’s lives are daily at stake and every year of delay will only worsen the situation and kill and injure more of our citizens.

Truly, it is unwise to further prolong making this investment. A four-lane Highway 14 from New Ulm to Rochester will be a major economic booster for Minnesota, especially southwest Minnesota, matching or exceeding any other investment, while also saving numerous lives from injuries or death.

Denny Warta

New Ulm

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