The U.S. Highway 14 Partnership was formed in 1998 to expand U.S. Highway 14 to four lanes between New Ulm and Rochester.
The Partnership consists of cities, counties, townships, chambers of commerce, businesses and individuals impacted by U.S. Highway 14. We lobby at the state and federal levels to secure funding for the project and ensure public input into the process of expanding Highway 14.
Highway 14 impacts the safety, economy and quality of life in Southern Minnesota. It is the most populous 100 miles in Greater Minnesota lacking a four-lane highway.
The U.S. Highway 14 Partnership lobbies for the entire Highway 14 project, all the way from New Ulm to Rochester. Member areas that have already seen their part of highway expanded remain in the Partnership because they are committed to completion of the entire project and understand the impact it has on the entire region.
The Partnership is a non-partisan organization and works to engage all legislators along Highway 14 in finding a way to complete the project.
The Expansion Project
For more than 60 years, passionate advocates in southern Minnesota have been calling for improvements to the Highway 14 corridor as population growth in regional centers made the highway increasingly unsafe and inefficient. The portion of U.S. Highway 14 between New Ulm and Rochester spans more than 100 miles. The first expansion on this span of Highway 14 began construction in 1959. More than 60 years later, we have never been closer to being able to drive all the way from New Ulm to Rochester on a safe, efficient, four-lane divided highway.
As a result of the Partnership’s legislative successes in 2018 and 2019, construction to expand 12 miles of the Highway between Owatonna and Dodge Center is currently under way, and expected to be completed in 2021. You can learn more about that project at dot.state.mn.us/d6/projects/hwy14/index.html
In February and March of 2020, the Partnership collaborated with state policymakers to advance a funding plan that will combine state and federal resources to finally expand the 12.5 miles of two-lane highway between the cities of Nicollet and New Ulm. Legislation to enable this plan was adopted by the state legislature in March 2020 and MnDOT is working closely with the USDOT to deliver the project as quickly as possible. For more details on this project, visit dot.state.mn.us/d7/projects/14newulmtonmankato/index.html.
Safety along the Corridor
Expansion of Highway 14 has vastly improved safety, boosted the local economy, and contributed to quality of life in southern Minnesota, but that does not mean that additional improvements are not needed. Dangerous conditions at certain at-grade intersections have emerged in recent years as particular problems and have unfortunately been the site of serious and fatal accidents. With progress underway on the expansion projects listed above, the Highway 14 Partnership is committed to advocating for these improvements as well.
For example, MnDOT District 6 is currently engaged with its partners in Olmsted and Dodge Counties, as well as municipalities along that end of the corridor, to study possible improvements that can be made to dangerous conditions there. You can find more information about this effort at us14corridoranalysis.com.
Meanwhile, recent tragic accidents have brought intersections near Eagle Lake into focus as emerging issues where future improvements may be required to avoid additional crashes.