As others see it: Coalition a good step
We have long advocated on the importance of a high-quality transportation system for the state of Minnesota.
The state strives to do the best it can to maintain and improve transportation systems all around the state. Unfortunately, the needed maintenance list and improvement wish list far exceeds the state funding for transportation.
One would think that the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge would have long resonated with the Legislature and the state. However, that tragedy is almost a forgotten memory.
The state has become better and more efficient in managing its transportation funding. For example, the new bridge recently completed in Hastings was projected to total $300 million, but the Minnesota Department of Transportation completed the project for $150 million.
The Legislature needs to find a way to make the appropriate investment in our state transportation systems. Citizens also must be willing to help fund the state’s transportation systems.
Each passing year that Minnesota shirks this responsibility will end up costing more in higher construction expenses and lost economic activity, both individually and collectively, in the long run.
Minnesota has long been known as a great education and good transportation state. We must not lose that legacy.
If adequate funding can be developed and implemented, Minnesota would be able to at least maintain our current transportation systems and maybe even make a few improvements, like closing the gaps on state Highway 23 to complete the four-lane access between Willmar and Interstate 94.