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U.S 14 getting partial facelift

By Heather Carlson

hcarlson@postbulletin.com

Beginning Thursday, U.S. 14 between Janesville and Waseca will be a four-lane highway.

This latest $41 million expansion is part of a decades-long quest to expand U.S. 14 from two lanes to four lanes.

On Friday, Gov. Tim Pawlenty will join others in celebrating the completion of the 10-mile stretch of roadway.

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But several stretches of U.S. 14 are still awaiting reconstruction.

Minnesota Department of Transportation spokeswoman Rebecca Arndt said the department has enough money to grade a stretch of U.S. 14 from Waseca to Owatonna, but does not have the millions of dollars needed to pave it or build bridges. She said department officials are working to solve the problem.

"We are dedicating a considerable amount of resources to this, including staff time and the construction dollars available," Arndt said.

Meanwhile, it seems unlikely construction will begin anytime soon on a 14-mile stretch of U.S. 14 from Interstate 35 to Dodge Center. MnDOT spokeswoman Kristine Hernandez said it will be at least three years before an environmental impact statement is finished for the roadway.

Construction for the $150 million expansion remains unscheduled beyond 2014.

Staff writer Heather Carlson covers Dodge County, Pine Island, Stewartville, Byron and Eyota. To reach her, call 281-7482, or e-mail hcarlson@postbulletin.com.

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