Governor Dayton announced “immediate action” on Highway 14 safety improvements in Mankato today (TUE). The 4-lane expansion of the highway from Mankato to New Ulm is a project that area residents have been calling for over the course of many years.
Governor Dayton says that finding the funding for the project has been difficult however, but that the state must find ways to finance essential infrastructure improvements or pay a terrible price both socially and economically.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation is using a 3-prong strategy to address the Highway 14 safety issues, at a total cost of upwards of $35-million.
The first phase is ongoing, and involves increased traffic enforcement to crack down on potentially dangerous driving. Mn/DOT Commissioner Tom Sorel says that another phase will be to include the 4-lane expansion of 14 from Mankato to Nicollet in the agency’s plans for the 2017-2018 construction seasons.
In the meantime, the plan is to widen the median from Mankato to Nicollet and install reflectors and rumble strips by this winter. Mn/DOT also plans on replacing the Highway 14 bridge over the Minnesota River in New Ulm in 2018, and will likely be addressing the junction with Highway 15 just north of New Ulm that year as well.