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Lawmakers demand answers on Highway 14 funding snub

(Washington D.C.) –  Minnesota congressional members in Washington are demanding an explanation for the reason the state was shut out of federal funding for transportation projects.

In November, recipients of the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grants were announced.  Minnesota was entirely excluded from recieving funding for any project.

Local officials and residents had high hopes for a BUILD grant to partially fund the expansion of Highway 14 between New Ulm and Nicollet.  The project has been in the works for decades.

“To provide clarity to the many competitive applicants from our state, we ask that DOT provide insight into the grant selection process,” says the letter to DOT Secretary Elaine Choa.  “While DOT awarded $900 million in BUILD grants this fiscal year, Minnesota did not receive any funding while other states received up to three grants.”

The letter is signed by Minnesota senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith.  It was also signed by a number of congressmen, including District 1 representative Jim Hagedorn.

Kentucky was one of the states that received BUILD funding for three projects.  DOT Secretary Chao is married to Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Senator, and Senate Majority Leader.

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