ST. CLOUD -- Transportation was on the minds of local leaders that met today (Friday) for a roundtable discussion at Metro Bus.

Members of the business, school and political communities shared concerns over the future of transportation issues.

Major projects such as the widening of Interstate 94 to three lanes and the expansion of the North Star Rail Line to St. Cloud are front and center on the minds of participants.

St. Cloud Representative Zach Dorholt was joined by Representative Frank Hornstein - who chairs the House Transportation Finance Committee.

Hornstein says transportation is the driver of economic growth.

Interstate 94 was among a short list of roadways that span the state listed as a "corridor to commerce."

Hornstein says these types of projects need to be funded.

Those in attendance stress the importance of the allocation of state funds to rural areas. They say the money can go a long way to improving the local economy.

To that point Hornstein agreed, expressing his support for more rural projects that are outside of the Twin Cities metro.

The representative is also asking Minnesotans to call upon their legislators to make transportation projects a bipartisan issue.

He says we "all own" projects like the Northstar Rail, so we should support it together.