The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

July 26, 2013

MnDOT 20-year plan entering final stage

Mankato's hearing is on Monday

(Continued)

The New Ulm river bridge, he said, includes complicated work with poor soil, the river and the bridge’s piers and abutments.

The rest of the Highway 14 expansion to New Ulm, estimated to cost between $101 million and $167 million, isn’t in the plan. This disappointed some advocates.

Mankato City Manager Pat Hentges, the treasurer of the Highway 14 Partnership, didn’t blame MnDOT.

“Unless we infuse some money into this system, it’s going to continuously lose ground,” he said.

But he said the Corridors of Commerce program, approved by the Legislature this year, “holds a key” if it can get more funding.

And Highway 14 advocates aren’t the only ones disappointed. Likewise left out was a six-lane expansion to Interstate 94 between St. Cloud and the Twin Cities (more than $100 million), a four-lane expansion to Highway 23 from New London to Richmond ($46 million to $90 million) and a four-lane extension of Highway 371 from Jenkins to Pine River ($78 million to $150 million).

The transportation department will review the comments in the next month or so and make changes to its plan, which will be reviewed by the Legislature next spring.

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