Mankato Free Press: Region gears up for 2018 transportation talks

EXCERPT: “If the Highway 14 Partnership has its way, a lot more funding could be flowing to regional road projects. That’s a goal many transportation-related organizations share next year, even though the Legislature plans to concentrate more on policy issues during the 2018 session. Still, everyone from local lawmakers to transportation experts is gearing up for a continued debate over Minnesota’s transportation needs. ‘We will be very engaged in recommending, endorsing and advocating for the need for Corridors of Commerce funding for the Highway 14 projects,’ said Patrick Baker, director of government and institutional affairs for Greater Mankato Growth. Locally, area officials are waiting to see whether recent changes to how projects are prioritized will affect funding for Highway 14’s remaining two projects to turn it into a four-lane route from New Ulm to Rochester. Baker said the partnership is encouraged by a mandate to direct half of the Corridors of Commerce funding to outstate projects, but they fear the changes mean more metro roads will get money that was specifically geared for Greater Minnesota.” FULLSTORY: