By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gov. Tim Walz and other Minnesota lawmakers participated Tuesday in a groundbreaking ceremony for a project to widen Highway 14 in southern Minnesota.

The project will expand 12.5 miles of the highway between New Ulm and Nicollet, making it a continuous four-lane highway between New Ulm and Rochester.

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“Highway 14 has long been considered one of the most dangerous roads in the country. As a former member of Congress from southern Minnesota, and as someone who has lost a neighbor on this road, this issue is deeply personal,” Walz said. “That’s why I was proud to join federal and state partners to celebrate the beginning of construction…We are getting this done to keep Minnesotans safe.”

(credit: CBS)

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Also coming to the Highway 14 corridor will be interchanges in Courtland and Brown County Road 37 in New Ulm, added turn lanes, and a snow fence between Courtland and Nicollet to prevent blowing snow.

“Improving safety and travel on Highway 14 has long been the focus of both MnDOT and the communities along this important corridor,” said MnDOT Interim Commissioner Nancy Daubenberger, in a statement. “Today marks a significant milestone in that process, and we appreciate the collaboration that made this vital project possible.”

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The project is expected to be completed next year. The bulk of the project’s funding came from a nearly $50 million loan from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Rural Projects Initiative.