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News Release

April 6, 2004

Mn/DOT District 7 Announces
2004 Road Construction Projects

MANKATO, Minn. - District 7 of the Minnesota Department of Transportation today announced the highway improvement projects for the 2004 construction season. District 7 is responsible for 1,345 miles of state and federal highways and 465 bridges in 13 counties in south central and southwestern Minnesota.

This year's construction program includes beginning another expansion project on U.S. Highway 14 due to the Pawlenty-Molnau 2003 Transportation Finance Bill.

According to Jim Swanson, Transportation District Engineer, the funding package allowed District 7 to begin the Highway 14 Janesville to Waseca segment one year earlier than scheduled, and more importantly combine several projects into one so that we can finish this segment three years a head schedule.

"The staff here worked hard to have this large project ready early and our hard work paid off. Not only was the Highway 14 project selected as one of the twelve projects to be financed with state bonding and federal advance construction dollars, but we were able to let the contract early in the year and get a competitive bid on it," explained Swanson.

The ten-mile, four-lane Highway 14 project was let in February to Mathiowetz Construction of Sleepy Eye for $34,263,131 and work will begin in early May.

The four-lane expansion work on Highway 14 should not disrupt Highway 14 traffic this year as the new roadway is being built south of the existing alignment. However, local roads will be detoured at times. The project is expected to take approximately two and a half years to complete.

Another notable project is the reconstruction of Highway 14 in New Ulm. Traffic will be detoured for two construction seasons as this project is completed. A web site has been set up at for the public to get updates and detour information.

The remaining projects focus on safety, preservation of the existing system and preventive maintenance such as seal coats and rout and seals.

To help travelers plan their trips to avoid major highway projects, Mn/DOT urges drivers to use its new Traveler Information System by dialing 5-1-1 or via the Web site at .

The start of the construction season also signals the need for drivers to use extra caution because the number of highway work zones will grow rapidly with the onset of warmer weather.

Swanson urges motorists to focus fully on their driving, especially in work zones. That means not using cell phones, observing work zone speed limits and staying alert for workers and equipment in or near work zones.

In related events, this week is National Work Zone Safety Week. Sponsored by the American Traffic Safety Services Association, the week is designated at this time each year to remind drivers to proceed with caution in and around road construction and maintenance work.

For more specific information on statewide construction, including statewide and district construction maps, visit the Mn/DOT Web site at

Too Fast. Too Close. Too Late.

We’re in the WORK ZONE Together

For statewide up-to-date traveler information, Minnesotans are now able to access weather-related road conditions, construction and congestion by dialing 511 or by logging on to

District 7, Mankato/Windom
501 S. Victory Dr.
Mankato, MN 56001-5302
Tel: 800/657-3747
Fax: 507/389-6281

Rebecca Arndt
Public Affairs Coordinator