Highway 14 open house draws crowd in Courtland; construction set to begin next month
It was a packed house in Courtland Tuesday night, as residents gathered to learn about construction plans for the expansion of Highway 14.
The long-awaited project will expand 12.5 miles of roadway from two lanes to four lanes between New Ulm and Nicollet. Interchanges will be added at Nicollet County Rd 37 near New Ulm, and in Courtland, which will be bypassed when the highway is moved north of the city.
Project managers from the Minnesota Department of Transportation said work will begin in mid-April.
Traffic will be detoured to Highway 68, which will see about 3,000 additional vehicles each day. Officials say it will be important for semis and other large vehicles to use the posted detours to avoid stress on township roads.
Courtland Fire Chief Dave Ubel said he hopes people understand the temporary inconvenience is a trade-off for safety. “I know it’s going an inconvenience for a lot of people, but nobody looks at the safety that this road is going to provide in the future,” said Ubel. “They don’t witness the accidents and fatalities.”
Highway 14 from New Ulm to Nicollet has been the site of a number of deadly or serious crashes over the decades, including three fatal crashes in January 2020.
The expansion is slated for completion in October 2023.