The Minnesota Department of Transportation is getting set to begin the initial safety improvements for Highway 14 between North Mankato and Nicollet. The project involves resurfacing and reshaping the existing 2-lane stretch of highway to create a buffer zone between the lanes to prevent head-on collisions. There will be an 8-foot median to prevent vehicles from passing, as well as 7-foot paved shoulders and another foot-and-a-half of gravel shoulder. This is the first phase in expanding the Nicollet to North Mankato stretch of Highway 14 to 4 lanes by the year 2018, and will cost around $2.5-million. Construction is expected to start by mid to late September and be completed by the end of October.