The Minnesota Department of Transportation sent crews out along I-35 Friday morning for maintenance work to keep water from flooding across the freeway north of Faribault. In the pictured scene, a worker was standing in nearly waist-deep water and appeared to be trying to unplug a drainage pipe of some sort.

On our free app, you can link to the latest road report from MnDOT's 511 system. Safety officials remind motorists to slow down and give their workers plenty of room to do their jobs.

Local, county and state officials across southern Minnesota have been dealing with flooding that has shut down a variety of highways and made for poor conditions on gravel and local roads.

On Thursday, Freeborn County officials advised motorists to avoid secondary roads in the county.

MnDOT has an open house scheduled for Tuesday, March 19 in Owatonna to provide an update on the Highway 14 expansion project between Owatonna and Dodge Center. Work could begin later this year on a four-lane divided roadway south of the current highway. MnDOT states traffic could be using the new road by the fall of 2021.

The open house will be held at the Owatonna construction office at 1010 21st Ave NW from 6 - 7:30 pm. People may come and go as they please during that time but there will be a short presentation at 6:30 pm. Governor Tim Walz signed a bill March 5 that modified language in legislation that passed in May 2018 to fund the expansion.

In other news regarding local roads, an open house will be held in Hollandale Tuesday, March 26 to share the latest news on the Highway 251 paving project slated for 2020. The resurfacing project will affect approximately 17 miles of Highway 251 from Interstate 35 east to Highway 218, primarily in Freeborn County. The open house will from 4 - 7 pm at the Hollandale Village Hall, 102 Park Ave E. People may come and go during the open house period.