The funding for the 4-lane expansion of Highway 14 from North Mankato to Nicollet has been officially added into the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s budget, with that work scheduled to get underway in 2017. A total of $409-million was included in the Mn/DOT budget for that stretch of 14. State Representative Kathy Brynaert of Mankato is sponsoring a bill that would expand the portions of the dangerous highway from New Ulm to Rochester that have not yet been completed. That bill is reportedly receiving a very positive response in the Legislature. Completing the expansion of Highway 14 has been a top priority of local community leaders for decades. Chamber of Commerce executives from New Ulm and Mankato testified in St. Paul on Wednesday about the importance to the regional economy of upgrading the increasingly busy highway. Greater Mankato Growth is hosting a public roundtable forum dealing with Highway 14 today (FRI) as well.