Highway. 14 from New Ulm to Nicollet gets a $98 million reissue

The US Department of Transportation this week announced a soft loan of up to $48.2 million to convert 12 miles of Highway 14 into a four-lane divided highway from New Ulm to Nicollet, passing through Courtland.

The loan — for a project that will improve safety on a critical highway — goes to the Minnesota Department of Transportation and Minnesota Management and Budget and is the first Minnesota loan under the program. The loan, part of the Rural Projects Initiative, is at half the Treasury rate and will cover nearly half of the $98.38 million project cost.

The project, which is expected to be completed in 2024, includes a new junction, safer crossings in Neu-Ulm, new turning lanes, the replacement of three bridges and the construction of two new bridges. Security upgrades and upgrades include upgraded lighting, intelligent transportation systems, and a snow fence.

“These improvements will provide rural Minnesotans with both a better quality of life and save lives.” said Deputy Transport Secretary Polly Trottenberg.

The US Department of Transportation has completed this $38.6 billion financing under the President’s bipartisan Infrastructure Act. Road safety is seen as particularly important in rural areas, where there is a disproportionate number of traffic injuries and fatalities.



City leaders who hosted the summit focused on downtown revitalization

National experts will meet with city and business leaders Monday in St. Cloud to examine how inner cities across the country have weathered the COVID-19 pandemic and reinvented themselves to stay relevant as workers from to work from home.

The Summit begins Monday at 6:00 p.m. at the River’s Edge Convention Center in downtown St. Cloud. Speakers will include Chris Leinberger, known as one of the 100 Most Influential Urbanists, as well as an inner-city strategist and researcher; and Tobias Peter, associate director of the American Enterprise Institute’s Housing Center, which focuses on housing market trends and policies.

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis and CentraCare President Ken Holmen will also discuss the city’s “unique opportunity to create an actively walkable downtown through strategic investments in housing and work facilities,” according to a press release von Kleis, who described the revitalization of the city center as the city’s pinnacle, prioritized economic development.

Earlier this year, Kleis authorized the city’s Economic Development Agency to award grants for exterior improvements to downtown businesses. In August, he announced a goal of having 1,000 downtown housing units over the next five years, which would hopefully spur further redevelopment through grocery stores, pharmacies and additional retail outlets. The city center currently has around 300 residential units, including subsidized and standard apartments.

Like many cities, St. Cloud has lost day workers since the pandemic began as people work remotely. And while more people have returned to the downtown bar and restaurant scene, there are fewer options after some businesses closed during the pandemic.

Jenny Berg


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