A cul-de-sac located between farm fields in a rural area about halfway between Claremont and Owatonna has been chosen as the site for a highly anticipated groundbreaking ceremony on Friday.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation has invited the public to join local and state officials for the event to mark the kickoff of the Highway 14 expansion project between Dodge Center and Owatonna. The ceremonial first shovels of dirt will be turned for the $108 million construction project that will reroute Highway 14 and expand it to four lanes.

The 12.5-mile project represents the final piece for a decades-long push to have Highway 14 expanded to a four-lane highway from Rochester all the way to Mankato to improve safety, travel times, traffic capacity, and access.

Shafer Contracting was awarded the contract for the construction project, which is scheduled to be completed by 2022.