- Rebecca Arndt
Minnesota Department of
501 S. Victory Drive
Mankato, MN 56001
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Mn/DOT expands Highway 14 study
Continued study moves decision on preferred alignment
MANKATO, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation is continuing to evaluate alignment alternatives for Highway 14 from New Ulm to North Mankato, according to agency officials. The department previously had expected to complete the Highway 14 study in August.
After reviewing each proposed alternative and the comments received on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the project, the agency determined that potential modifications should be considered. As a result, Mn/DOT will announce a preferred alignment later this fall.
“No route is obviously superior to the others. We will compare benefits and impacts in greater detail to be sure we select the better route,” said Peter Harff, Mn/DOT project manager.
In one area of specific concern, Mn/DOT reviewed ways of staying in the river valley between Nicollet County Highway 37 and Courtland while avoiding impacts to properties eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School, the New Ulm Quartzite quarry and several residences. Concluding that complete avoidance is not feasible, Mn/DOT is looking at available options in greater detail.
Mn/DOT also considered how to reduce impacts for the proposed routes that go up to the bluff top between New Ulm and Courtland. Relatively small modifications to limit the impacts of crossing Heyman’s Creek and farmland severances will be proposed if the bluff top alternatives are selected. Other areas along the corridor are closer to a final determination.
Harff noted that since construction on any portion of the project is not anticipated for several years, the additional time to complete the study will not result in any construction delays.
“We realize that property owners would have preferred a decision by now, but we need to balance that need with the responsibility to make the best selection overall,” Harff said.