News from Representative Tom Emmer


Dear Friend,

As I travel around the district, when I host a town hall, or when I read your letters - I consistently hear from you about transportation. Especially on roads and bridges – their expansion, repair, and most importantly, their safety.

The county road the bus driver takes to bring your kids to school, the highway you frequent to get to work, and the freeway you travel to head to your cabin for the weekend - are important corridors to you and your family. You rely on your government to manage these transportation routes - for the safety of you and your loved ones, and to allow for the mobilization of goods and services throughout our state. 

Investment in transportation infrastructure is a paramount duty of government and has a tangible effect on economic growth. Our state is more than just the Land of 10,000 Lakes, it is a hub for commerce which relies on a vast network of transportation systems. Our aging infrastructure is costing families like yours an average of $3,400 a year. This is unacceptable - and I have heard your concerns.

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Congressman Emmer with Delano City Administrator Phil Kern, Delano Mayor Dale Graunke and U.S. Department of Transportation Assistant Secretary for Governmental Affairs Adam Sullivan. 

On U.S. Highway 12, 24 people have died over the last five years, with 239 more injured and more than 811 crashes along the Highway. 14 crashes have already occurred this year alone. In March, my hometown of Delano lost Marleena Anna Dieterich as she traveled home. These accidents and fatalities are avoidable, and I took to the House floor in March to urge Secretary Chao to visit and see firsthand the dangers this highway poses.  

This past Friday, Deputy Administrator for the Federal Highway Administration Brandye Hendrickson visited Minnesota on behalf of Secretary Chao. Following a bus tour of the most dangerous stretches of this road, I led a round table to discuss possible solutions. 

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Congressman Emmer hosted a bus tour and round table for representatives from the U.S. Department of Transportation to discuss improvements to U.S. Highway 12. 

Congress must provide certainty to states by providing long-term federal transportation funding for needed infrastructure repairs and improvements. Finding innovative and long-term solutions to direct sorely needed resources to Minnesota and our nation’s transportation systems is paramount. 

There is more work to be done. One of Minnesota’s most pervasive problems is the daily commute with long delays, accidents, and preventable fatalities at intersections and rail-grade crossings. In fact, more than half of all crashes involving injuries occur at or near intersections. 28 percent of these are fatal. It's clear this problem needs a solution, so I introduced the National Intersection and Interchange Safety Construction Program Act to establish a grant program to assist safety improvements for high-risk intersections and interchanges. 

I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to provide federal support to promote the safe and efficient movement of people and goods in the Sixth Congressional District, and I will not stop fighting for improvements to U.S. Highway 12 until we see changes that will prioritize the safety of our neighbors, friends and fellow Minnesotans.  

Sincerely,

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