The Minnesota Senate Republican bonding proposal released Wednesday includes money for funding the expansion of Highway 14 between Owatonna and Dodge Center to widen the roadway to four-line divided.

Senator John Jasinski expressed his pleasure in a news release, "We took an enormous step toward completing the Highway 14 expansion today." Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said, "Senator Jasinski has led the charge to finish Highway 14 from his first day in office."

The bill authorizes $174.6 million for the project to connect the four-lane stretches east of Dodge Center and west of Owatonna. Jasinski added, "Everyone who lives here knows firsthand how dangerous the highway is, but for a long time it felt like we weren't a priority for legislators in St. Paul."

Jasinski and others, including the Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, were disappointed in the recent Corridors of Commerce announcement that left off the Highway 14 project.

Other projects included in the $825 million bill announced this week fund bridge repair across the state, earmark $4.5 million for the Minnesota State Academies for the Deaf and Blind in Faribault and set aside money for Business Development Public Infrastructure grants.

"I also want to thank my fellow senators for listening so intently to my concerns about the importance of this significant project. Everyone who lives in southern Minnesota has been desperate to complete this for a long time," continued Jasinski.

Breaking news: Byron woman killed in Highway 14 crash near Rochester. Download the KRFO app for more local news.