Nicollet Hwy 14 Intersection Issues 17 Dec 13

Around a hundred people were on hand for a Minnesota Department of Transportation meeting in Nicollet on Monday on the future of Highway 14. The 4-lane expansion of the highway from North Mankato to Nicollet will take place in 2015, and the intersection with Highway 111 will be re-done at that time. The issue is that Mn/DOT wants to go with a Reduced Conflict Intersection controlled by signs, while Nicollet Mayor Fred Froelich says that residents favor a full interchange.  Project engineers were on hand Monday evening to talk about the possible intersection alternatives for Nicollet. Mn/DOT’s Zach Tess says they did a cost-benefit analysis on the various options, and while an interchange is twice as safe as a Reduced Conflict intersection, it would cost eight times as much to construct. The expansion of Highway 14 was recently named one of ten highway construction projects to receive part of 30-million dollars in available funding through the state’s new “Corridors of Commerce” initiative. Local State Representative Clark Johnson says that the money is there for a full interchange. Following the Mn/DOT meeting, the Nicollet City Council unanimously approved a resolution to *not* support the plan to build a Reduced Conflict Intersection, and called upon Governor Dayton to direct Mn/DOT to use the adequate Corridors of Commerce funds for the Nicollet bypass project. Mn/DOT reportedly needs municipal approval to do the project in Nicollet.