Mankato, MN (KROC AM News) - Cheers are being heard Monday from supporters of a longtime proposal to expand Highway 14 in southeast and south-central Minnesota.

Included in the bonding bill approved by the legislature Sunday was money for highway projects. The U.S. Highway 14 Partnership says the money is expected to fully fund the expansion of the highway to four lanes between Dodge Center and Owatonna.

This would give motorists four lanes all the way between Rochester and Mankato. 

The partnership will continue seeking funds to expand Highway 14 to four lanes between Mankato and New Ulm.

Kevin Raney, vice president of the Highway 14 Partnership and a member of the Owatonna City Council said, “This funding is a game changer for safety and economic development in southern Minnesota. Our community has seen industrial expansion in recent years and our population is growing. These 12.5 miles carry patients to world-class medical care, local school buses farm equipment and truck traffic. We are tired of harrowing stories of deadly accidents or near misses involving our neighbors. Expanding Highway 14 is overdue and desperately needed.”

“The residents, farmers, and businesses along Highway 14 are extremely pleased to have another section of this vital corridor funded for four-lane expansion,” said Karen Foreman, president of the U.S. Highway 14 Partnership and a member of the Mankato City Council. “We would like to thank legislative leadership for supporting this important project. We would like to thank all of the Highway 14 legislators who worked so hard on this, especially Rep. Torkelson, Rep. Petersburg, Sen. Senjem and Sen. Jasinski for their special efforts. We would also like to thank MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle and the department’s staff for personally engaging in efforts to see this project through.”

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