Now is the time to fund Hwy. 23

To the editor:

Expanding and maintaining key corridors in our state like Highway 23 is essential in moving our local communities and state in the right direction, and we cannot afford to ignore our commitment to these important corridors.

People and businesses in Southwestern Minnesota have been waiting decades for completion of Highway 23 to four lanes. The challenge faced by Highway 23 and others is that the costs for necessary improvements outweigh the available funding. Fortunately, we have options, but we have to act now.

With less than two weeks left in this year’s legislative session, now is the time to pass a balanced and comprehensive transportation plan.

Minnesotans cannot afford to wait as projects like this continue to be delayed, resulting in declining conditions and increased costs for the future. Each year that a project is delayed adds about 10 percent to the final cost of the project.

Taxpayers can’t afford the additional costs, and drivers can’t afford the congestion and increasingly unsafe conditions any longer.

Without action by the Legislature to increase transportation revenue, Highway 23 will remain a daily frustration and hindrance to business growth and economic development in our area.

Cal Brink

Marshall Transportation Committee