The Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce says in their weekly e-newsletter that local chambers of commerce and government have submitted their support letters for Highway 14 expansion to the Minnesota Department of Transportation's Corridors of Commerce program. Created in 2013, two major goals of the initiative are to improve transport of freight and increase highway capacity where bottlenecks exist. Local officials are hoping to see Highway 14 be expanded to four lanes between Owatonna and Dodge Center.

The Corridors of Commerce program scores projects on seven categories, including return on investment, economic impact, freight efficiency, safety concerns, regional connections, policy goals and community support.

The Minnesota House Transportation Finance Committee will release it omnibus transportation bill shortly. Hearings will follow.

In other news from the Owatonna Chamber, the Main Street program will pursue a night market strategy this year. Surveys show that over 50-percent of responders indicate that specialty food and restaurants are a main reason they go to a downtown. "Matt Wagner of Main Street America has repeatedly observed three businesses located in the central core of vibrant cities: a coffee shop, fine dining and a brew pub," states the newsletter, which has shown to spread success to other downtown businesses.