Highway 14 Project 26 Mar 12

A long-awaited Highway 14 construction project in southern Minnesota appears to be back on track.

The project was nearly derailed six months ago by bids 31 percent higher than expected. But Matt Rottermond, project manager for the Minnesota Department of Transportation says officials were surprised at how low the lowest bid opened Friday was.

The bid by Mathiowetz Construction of Sleepy Eye came in just under $9.4 million. That compares with a low bid of $23.6 million last August, which prompted MnDOT to break the $18 million project into two halves. The other half will be bid this fall.

The project includes a new interchange at Highway 14 and Nicollet County Road 41 in North Mankato, and adds more than a mile of four-lane expressway.