Travelers between Owatonna and Dodge Center have reason to celebrate again. Legislation passed last year to expand Highway 14 from two lanes to four between Owatonna and Dodge Center. It was later determined that the sale of bonds would be delayed due to Minnesota Management and Budget guidelines. Senator John Jasinski (R-Faribault) reported this week that the language in the bill has been cleaned up.

"We can really, truly, finally celebrate: Highway 14 funding is DONE," Jasinski said in a news release. "Last year everyone was thrilled that Highway 14 was finally going to get finished, only to find out about a technical error later that put the start date in jeopardy. It was an unfortunate snag, but I'm glad it didn't slow the project down."

The correction to the bill is part of a small bonding bill that passed the Senate on a 63-1 vote and will be sent to Gov. Walz. The press release states the intention from the start was to allow work to begin when it was shovel ready. The correction allows work to begin as soon as possible.

The original bill passed in May 2018 to provide funding for the expansion of the heavily traveled roadway. That ended a long battle to fund the project that included a near-miss with Corridors of Commerce financing.

The Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce indicated in their recent e-newsletter that the intent was to get the expansion going right away, leaving many disappointed with the possible delay.



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