A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place Tuesday for a new stretch of four-lane highway in southern Minnesota. The newly-expanded Highway 14 will give drivers a direct route between Owatonna and Mankato. Congressman Tim Walz was among the dignitaries on hand for the ceremony, and he said: “This is a highway that our children and grandchildren can say thank goodness they built this. We always talk about the interstate highway system, this is our moment to do something with infrastructure. So, it means a lot. It shows that southern Minnesota is united, it shows that we have an eye towards the future so I’m proud of this group.” This phase of the expansion of Highway 14 cost around $152-million. Mn/DOT officials say the newly-completed segment should be open within the next two to three weeks. The expansion of Highway 14 from Mankato to Nicollet is scheduled to begin in 2017. Mn/DOT plans to widen the median on that stretch and install reflectors and rumble strips by this winter.