The segment of Highway 14 between Owatonna and Dodge Center was previously included in an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) process, which addressed a broader segment of Highway 14 from Owatonna to Kasson. That EIS process was completed in August 1993. The 1993 EIS defined two project segments. The first segment was an extension of the four-lane, divided expressway from Kasson to the west side of Dodge Center at Highway 56 (including the Dodge Center bypass). The second Highway 14 segment was from Highway 56 to Interstate 35. In 2001, the first segment from the 1993 EIS was constructed.
Following construction of Highway 14 from Kasson to Dodge Center the imminent construction at that time of Highway 14 freeway expansion west of I-35 and corridor changes, it was determined the need of expressway from the 1993 EIS needed revisiting. This was done under advisement of FHWA and upper MnDOT management staff. Corridor changes included but were not limited to:
- System continuity to connect to freeway sections east and west of the corridor
- Change in rural speed limit from 55 to 65 mph
- Relatively high percentage of truck traffic (11%)
- Growing commuter population along the corridor
In summer of 2006, MnDOT initiated the new environmental study. A project public advisory committee (PAC) was formed. The PAC member consisted of representatives of affected cities, counties and townships, local political representatives, and MnDOT staff. The role of the PAC was to provide MnDOT with project technical issues from a local agency or public perspective and act as liaison to relay information between MnDOT and the public. During the four and a half year environmental study the PAC met over 20 times in addition to the numerous public meetings held. The environmental study concluded in November 2010, with final approvals by federal and state authorities. Municipal consent was obtained from city of Claremont in May 2011. Then in November 2013, a portion of Highway 14 (referred to as Segment 1) studied under the EIS received money for construction. Construction began July 2014 and concluded fall 2015.