New Ulm, Minn. (KEYC) — Minnesota has received a $22 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) program for the Highway 14 Nicollet to New Ulm Mobility and Safety Improvement Project.
The funding will help complete the final expansion of Highway 14—the 12 miles of two-lane traffic between Nicollet and New Ulm.
“As a former member of Congress from southern Minnesota, as someone who has driven countless miles on Highway 14, and as someone who has lost a neighbor on this road, this issue is personal to me, and it’s personal to everyone in this area of the state,” said Gov. Tim Walz. “Highway 14 will not be safe until it is built out to four lanes, I am glad our partners at the U.S. Department of Transportation recognize this. Together, we will get this done, and we will save lives.”
“MnDOT is grateful that the USDOT has recognized the importance of completing these projects,” said Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher. “We’ve taken an ‘all of the above’ approach to funding the final expansion of Highway 14 between New Ulm and Nicollet, and with the long-time support of local advocates and allies and this new federal support, we will get this project done and – most importantly – save lives.”
Earlier this year, to finance the Highway 14 Nicollet to New Ulm project, MnDOT announced its plans to apply for a federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan, which is administered through the Rural Project Initiative and Build America Bureau of the USDOT.
The Minnesota Legislature acted swiftly to pass legislation and Governor Walz signed the bill in March to enable MnDOT to apply for the TIFIA loan to complete the Highway 14 expansion. The BUILD grant funding will reduce the amount of the TIFIA loan for which the agency will need to apply.
MnDOT anticipates construction on this final stretch of Highway 14 will begin in 2022.
The state also received a $15 million BUILD grant for the Highway 10 Rum River Bridge Replacement and Intersection Improvements project.