Early this week, the Minnesota legislature passed a bill that will complete the expansion of Highway 14 from a two-lane to a four-lane roadway between New Ulm and Nicollet. Senator John Jasinski and representative John Petersburg expressed their pleasure at that news, while also discussing the current coronavirus update at Tuesday's Owatonna City Council meeting.

In a news release on the US Highway 14 Partnership Twitter account, Karen Foreman, the group's president, says, "This is a historic day for southern Minnesota. The Legislature's action tonight (Monday, March 16) is a welcome piece of good news amid all the uncertainty our communities are currently facing."

Foreman goes on to say, "This legislation represents the final major piece in an effort that has lasted more than 60 years. Expanding Highway 14 to four lanes all the way from New Ulm to Rochester will undoubtedly save lives and stimulate our regional economy."

A report in the Mankato Free Press indicates, "The project is 'shovel ready' with design plans done, meaning construction would begin soon after funding is secured next year and the highway is slated to be completed by 2022."

The story also says, "The state is applying for a low-interest federal loan to $36 million of the $74 million project. The federal government has assured the state they will get the loan."

A ceremonial groundbreaking was held in November on the expansion project of Highway 14 between Owatonna and Dodge Center. The 12-mile span is a $108 million project that should begin this spring.