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When will our Hwy. 14 groundbreaking be?

A groundbreaking is to be held on Friday for the project to expand Highway 14 to four lanes between Owatonna and Dodge Center. It is a $12.5, $108 million project that will complete the four-lane expansion between Mankato and Rochester.

That’s nice.

But we want to know when the groundbreaking will be held for the final part of the expansion, from Nicollet to New Ulm.

According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the 12.5 mile section from Nicollet to New Ulm is in design — they have a good idea where it will go, how an interchange north of Courtland will be handled and the kind of cutouts and interchanges there will be at Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School.

The end point of the project, the Highway 14-15 Gateway Project is being finished up, hopefully by early winter

But the four-lane expansion project itself remains unfunded and unscheduled. “MnDOT’s goal is to advance the project over the next year with design and environmental work so that if funding became available the project would be ready for right of way, final design and construction.”

Well, that’s nice, too.

But not as nice as getting the funds needed for the project approved, and getting the project on the construction schedule as soon as possible.

We are happy for the people along the Owatonna to Dodge Center stretch of Highway 14. But we don’t want MnDOT and the Minnesota Legislature to forget about that last stretch of the project.

We’re waiting for our groundbreaking.

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