Faribault Daily News: Rural leaders criticize omissions in Corridors of Commerce awards

EXCERPT: “State Rep. Paul Torkelson, the House Transportation Committee chair, is blasting the Department of Transportation for its newly released list of $417 million in highway projects, saying it fails to heed to outstate needs. ‘We have critical corridors like Hwy. 23 in western Minnesota, Hwy. 14 in southern Minnesota, and countless others in desperate need of upgrades and repairs that are being completely ignored by this Metro-centric project list,” said Torkelson . . . ‘It’s astonishing that MnDOT would select four projects with massive price tags all within 50 miles of Minneapolis and St. Paul — it’s clear that changes are needed to ensure a more balanced approach for the Corridors of Commerce program moving forward’ … The four projects receiving 2018 funding: Highway 169 in Elk River (greater Minnesota) – estimate up to $157 million; Highway 494, France Avenue to Highway 77 (Metro District) – estimate up to $134 million; Highway 494, Bush Lake Road to Interstate 35W (Metro District) – estimate up to $70 million; Highway 94, St. Michael to Albertville (greater Minnesota) – estimate up to $56 million . . . Dave Smiglewski, Granite Falls mayor and president of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, also knocked the selection, saying they ‘demonstrate a massive failure on MnDOT’s part to address transportation needs statewide.'”  FULLSTORY: http://bit.ly/2HLcUMZ