February 2017 Newsletter: Coalition Leadership Testifies in Front of House Transportation Finance Committee in Support of Corridors of Commerce Program Funding

By Kim Skatrud Uncategorized No Comments on February 2017 Newsletter: Coalition Leadership Testifies in Front of House Transportation Finance Committee in Support of Corridors of Commerce Program Funding

Steve Bot, President of the I-94 West Corridor Coalition, testified in from of the Minnesota House of Representatives Transportation Finance committee in support of House File 231, authored by Representative Lucero, which would provide funding and money appropriation to the Corridor of Commerce program.

The 2013 Minnesota Legislature created the Corridors of Commerce program by authorizing the sale of up to $300 million in new bonds for the construction, reconstruction, and improvement of trunk highways. The programs goals are to provide additional highway capacity on interregional corridors or bottlenecks in the system, and to improve or preserve the movement of freight and reduce barriers to commerce.

This crucial piece of legislation helped fund the Phase 1 project between Rogers and St. Michael, along with a long list of other projects across the state.

During the 2017 Legislative Session, House File 231 proposes that $200,000,000 in fiscal year 2018 and $200,000,000 in fiscal year 2019 are appropriated from the trunk fund to the commissioner of transportation for the corridors of commerce program and may include right-of-way acquisition for projects included in the program.

During his testimony, Bot discussed the benefits, including the outstanding ROI, that the completion from Rogers to St. Michael has provided the communities along this corridor. He also expressed the negative consequences that inadequate funding to crucial programs, one being the Corridors of Commerce, would have on our state. Specifically, the crucial shovel ready expansion project from St. Michael to Albertville, that would be delayed for another 20 years without adequate funding from the Corridors of Commerce.
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