Ongoing bridge project to cause road closures

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Austin motorists will have to prepare for a number of road closures and reductions in coming months as a result of an ongoing area bridge project, funded partially by the federal stimulus.

The $12.8 million “Bridges of Mower County” project, which includes work on four bridges near Dobbins and Turtle creeks, is on schedule to hit its targeted September 2010 completion date, project spokeswoman Jessica Wiens said Monday.

Work is underway on a westbound Interstate Highway 90 Turtle Creek bridge, while an eastbound Turtle Creek bridge, a double-box culvert for I-90 over Dobbins Creek in northeast Austin and a “flyover” bridge nearby for exiting westbound I-90 will also be redone.

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Currently, 12th and Eighth avenues northwest are closed near the Turtle Creek bridges, 10th Place Northeast is closed near the Dobbins Creek bridge and I-90 traffic is routed to one lane in each direction near the two creeks.

Later in the fall, 10th Place Northeast will reopen as Eighth Avenue Northeast closes near Dobbins Creek. The highway will remain restricted to one lane.

Work on the westbound Turtle Creek bridge is scheduled to be done by mid-November, which is also when all road restrictions should be lifted as the project pauses for winter.

Restrictions would then go back into place around March 2010 as work resumes on the three other bridges.

What: Public meeting on “Bridges of Mower County” project

When: Tuesday, Aug. 25, 6 p.m.

Where: Paramount Theatre, 125 Fourth Ave. NE, Austin

Why: For citizens to hear a progress report and ask questions about the project

Who will be there:

Terry Ward, project manager, Mn/DOT

Doyle Honstad, project manager, Lunda Construction

Samantha Werre, public information coordinator, Richardson, Richter & Associates

Jessica Wiens, public affairs coordinator, Mn/DOT

Minnesota Department of Transportation project manager Terry Ward said previously that Bridges of Mower County was planned as a larger project to make the work as efficient and fast as possible, so as to minimize inconveniences for county residents.

The two Turtle Creek bridges and the “flyover” bridge were built in 1959, while the Dobbins Creek bridge was built two years before that. The Turtle Creek bridges were remodeled in 1980.

For more on the project, call the project hotline at 1-866-230-5352 or visit