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To the editor: Thanks to Senator Sieben

To the editor,

I want to thank Senator Sieben for voting against amendments to change the route of the high-speed rail line from Chicago to the Twin Cities. The Midwest Regional Rail Initiative (MWRRI) identified the route going through La Crescent, Winona, and Red Wing, and onto St. Paul, as the preferred route for the train.

Unfortunately, other lawmakers and the governor want to forgo this study and consider other routes through Rochester for the high-speed rail line. The current River Route line has already been studied and is eligible for Phase II funding (planning, environmental, and design) under the federal economic recovery package. Pursuing another route that is not as far along would decrease the amount of federal funds our state could get to move high-speed rail forward.

Supporting the river route just makes sense, as the track infrastructure is already in place, and it is one of Amtrak's most successful lines. I'm very glad to have a senator who wants to maximize Minnesota's receipt of federal funds and is looking out for our region's economy. Moving forward with this investment in mobility will do much to expand our business and tourism opportunities.

Dennis Jones

Cottage Grove