MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The $31 million expansion of Highway 14 from Nicollet to North Mankato has officially begun, the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced Monday.

The project is expanding the current two-lane highway into four lanes from North Mankato to Nicollet and will also build a four-lane bypass with an interchange with Highway 111, south of Nicollet, which will connect with the existing Highway 14 west of town.

“Many have collaborated well and worked very hard to ensure that this project would happen,” MnDOT Commissioner Charlie Zelle said. “The cooperation by all parties involved was simply phenomenal. This segment of Highway 14 has needed improvement for many years. This is a good day and a good project, and I am glad we are getting started.”

While the project is important, there is still more Gov. Mark Dayton wishes to be addressed.

“Highway 14 is a critical artery through our state. Expanding the road to four lanes from Nicollet to North Mankato is a much-needed improvement,” Dayton said. “But there is still much more work to do in order to address the critical safety and mobility deficiencies that residents and businesses have been facing for years. I urge the Legislature to act next session to finally deliver that needed funding.”

The Corridors of Commerce funded the project.

Click here for more information on the project.