Groundbreaking takes place this week for the $108 million highway upgrade between Owatonna and Dodge Center in southern Minnesota.

The 12½ mile segment of U.S. Highway 14 to be expanded to four lanes is the final link in improving the well-traveled highway between Rochester and Mankato.

Minnesota Department of Transportation District 6 spokesman Mike Dougherty tells Minnesota Public Radio News the project will increase safety along a stretch that has seen some serious crashes. Design and planning work will take place over the winter. Major work will start in the spring and continue through 2022.

Groundbreaking will take place Friday along Highway 14 east of Owatonna.