Senator Nick Frentz (DFL-North Mankato) was the chief Senate author of legislation to provide funding solutions to finish the final stretch of Hwy. 14 to four lanes from Nicollet to New Ulm. The legislation passed last session and signed into law. The Frentz bill allowed MnDOT to apply for a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan that charges just 1 percent interest.
Today, Sen. Frentz’s office was notified that the $22 million U.S. Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant funding had received final approval through the Federal Government this week. The grant will replace part of the funding that would have been received through the TIFIA loan.
In response to this announcement, Sen. Frentz released the following statement:
“When I ran for State Senate four years ago, I made a promise to Southern Minnesota that I would work tirelessly to find a way to upgrade Hwy. 14 into a divided expressway. I will continue to work on supporting this project until it is done. As your state senator, I want to make sure every person traveling this stretch of highway will be safer in the future.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank our local communities, Gov. Tim Walz, and MnDOT Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher, and local legislators for their tireless efforts in working together to find an affordable and workable solution to finally finish this project and save lives. This is truly how One Minnesota should work. Our shared values are what bring our communities together and serve as a guide for how we make our state work better for all of us.
The BUILD Grant will reduce what the State of Minnesota must contribute, and that is a direct benefit to Minnesota taxpayers. We are very optimistic we will be approved for the TIFIA loan and have the project fully funded. The 12-mile stretch from Nicollet to New Ulm is shovel ready and we could see the project finished by the end of 2022, which is a huge benefit for all southern Minnesota. This was a win-win solution that I’m proud to be a part of.”