Southern Minnesota civic and political leaders reacted strongly at the news Tuesday that Highway 14 expansion between Owatonna and Dodge Center would not be part of the funding from the Corridors of Commerce program.

In their weekly e-newsletter, the Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism stated, "We are disappointed by MnDOT's project awards, which completely exclude Highway 14 and other vital Greater Minnesota projects. Highway 14 is the most highly populated corridor in Greater Minnesota without a continuous four-lane connection. Today's announcement guarantees that remains the case for the foreseeable future."

Senator John Jasinski (R-Faribault) said it a news release, "I am incredibly disappointed that Governor Dayton's Department of Transportation chose to ignore Highway 14 yet again. Corridors of Commerce funding has traditionally been split 50-50 between the metro and Greater Minnesota, yet every project announced today is within 40 miles of downtown Minneapolis."

Jasinski added, "How can anyone say with a straight face that Greater Minnesota is being treated fairly...I am let down by today's MnDOT decision, but the fight isn't over; I will keep working until Highway 14 is completed."

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