Bridging the projects; Summer roadwork is right around the corner

By Michael Stoll and Jason Schoonover

It’ll be a passing of the baton for bridge projects this summer as the state, Mower County and Austin transition into road construction season.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation released its list of 2017 road projects Thursday, and one of the biggest in Mower County comes as no surprise.

The $2.59 million project to replace the Oakland Place Southeast bridge along East Side Lake should finish before work begins on the roughly $2.3 million project to replace the 11th Drive Northeast Bridge in Austin over Interstate 90.

Work on the Oakland Place bridge should finish by the end of May.

“The concrete deck is poured and the project is on schedule,” Mower County Public Works Director Mike Hanson said.

Work is scheduled to begin on the 11th Drive Northeast bridge in the first week of June, and Hanson assured it would not begin until the Oakland Place bridge is complete.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is scheduled to start work on the 11th Drive Northeast brdige this year. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

MnDOT announced about $1 billion in projects Thursday with about $128 million of work planned in District 6, which includes Mower County.

Along with the 11th Drive bridge, drivers can also expect detours on Highway 56 for a $6.7 million road resurfacing project from Interstate 90 to Taopi.

Mower County also has eight bridge replacements planned for this year, including on County Road 57 in Waltham Township, County Road 28 in Austin Township and County Road 16 in Lansing Township. Some work is also planned on County Road 56 in LeRoy.

For bicyclists, progress is being made on Mower County’s Shooting Star Trail.

The bridge over Oakland Place East is scheduled to be finished this year. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

“Work is continuing on the portion along Highway 56, which should be completed this spring,” Hanson said. “We’ll continue work on a segment in Rose Creek and along County Road 58 to complete the trail.”

The project is the latest in work to extend the Shooting Star Trail from Rose Creek to Austin. When fully completed, the last leg of the trail will run along State Highway 56 before jutting west as a bike lane on County Road 58 and then turning north on 28th Street to connect to Austin near the Austin Country Club.

The trail will then run from LeRoy to Austin.

In other statewide projects, cable median barriers will be installed along Interstate 35 from the Iowa border to Interstate 90 for $1.2 million. South of Owatonna, six I-35 bridges and four Highway 14 bridges are set for replacement for $2.2 million. That project will reduce traffic to two lanes and could create delays, especially on weekends.

People going to Minnesota Twins games or other events in Minneapolis may want to take note in August, as I-35W is slated for rebuilding work between Lake Street and downtown Minneapolis.

Along Highway 63 from Rochester to Interstate 90, crews will extend a traffic management system for $550,320. 

2017 construction projects in Mower County

•County Road 57: bridge replacement in Waltham Township. Timeframe: estimated 50 working days.

•County Road 28: bridge replacement in Austin Township. Timeframe: estimated 50 days.

•County Road 56: road work in LeRoy. Timeframe: estimated 30 days.

•County Road 16: bridge replacement in Lansing Township. Timeframe: estimated 15 days.

•County Road 1: bridge replacement in Racine Township: Timeframe: estimated seven days.

•750th Avenue: bridge replacement in Bennington Township. Timeframe: estimated seven days.

•325th Street: bridge replacement in Pleasant Valley Township. Timeframe: estimated seven days.

•210th Street: bridge replacement in Clayton Township. Timeframe: estimated seven days.

•535th Avenue: bridge replacement in Lyle Township. Timeframe: estimated seven days.

•County Road 12: road work in the city of LeRoy. Timeframe: estimated five days.

•Cabot Street: road work in the city of LeRoy. Timeframe: estimated five days.

MnDOT

•Highway 56: Resurfacing from Taopi to Interstate 90 with reconstruction, with American Disability Act improvements in Adams. Cost: $6.7 million.

•Interstate 90: Replace 11th Drive Northeast bridge in Austin. Cost: $2.3 million.

City of Austin

•Fourth Avenue Northwest (Fourth Street to 12th Street Northwest): This project will include the replacement of the concrete pavement on Fourth Avenue Northwest. The street will be widened by one foot to accommodate on-street bike lanes. The project will also include upgrades to sanitary sewer, storm sewer and water mains. Work will begin in mid-May and wrap up in the fall.

•First Street Southwest (First Avenue Southwest to Dead End), Second Street Southwest (First Avenue to Fourth Avenue Southwest), Third Street Southwest (Fourth Avenue to Fifth Avenue Southwest), Fourth Avenue Southwest (Second Street to Fourth Street Southwest) and Fifth Avenue Southwest (Third Street to Fourth Street Southwest): This is an asphalt street reconstruction project. Each street in this project will be widened and new curb and gutter will be installed along with new asphalt pavement. This project also includes installation of storm sewer, and upgrades to the sanitary sewer and water mains. Construction will begin in May and wrap up in late summer.

•Sixth Street Southeast (12th Avenue Southeast to 16th Avenue Southeast) and 16th Avenue Southeast (Sixth Street to Eighth Drive Southeast): This project is an asphalt street reconstruction. Construction will include the replacement of curb and gutter and new asphalt pavement. Sanitary sewer will be replaced, and new storm sewer and tile lines will be constructed. Work is expected to begin after the end of the school year and continue into the early fall.

•Fifth Avenue Northwest (Eighth Street to 11th Street Northwest), Sixth Avenue Northwest (Eighth Street to 11th Street Northwest) and Seventh Avenue Northwest (Eighth Street to 11th Street Northwest): This project is an asphalt street reconstruction. Construction will include the replacement of curb and gutter, widening of roads, and new asphalt pavement. Sanitary sewer and water mains will also be upgraded during construction. Work is expected to begin in July and continue until the end of fall.

•Fourth Drive Southwest -Phase Two (22nd Avenue Southwest to County Road 28): This is a joint project between the city of Austin and Mower County. The asphalt roadway will be widened and curb and gutter will be installed. The existing ditches will be filled and new storm sewer will be installed to improve drainage. Sanitary sewer will be extended to the south to serve future development. An 8’ wide asphalt trail will be constructed on the west side of the road to improve access for pedestrians and bicyclists.

•Ninth Place Southwest Mill and Overlay and Street Lighting: The top layer of asphalt pavement will be milled off and replaced with new asphalt pavement. The streetlights along Ninth Place Southwest will be removed and replaced with new poles and LED fixtures. Project also includes repairs to sidewalks, curb and gutter, and pedestrian ramps. Construction is scheduled to begin in August.

•Northeast Alley project: Asphalt alley reconstruction project south of Fourth Avenue Northeast between Ninth and 10th Street Northeast. Project includes replacement of asphalt and storm sewer improvements. Project is scheduled to begin in May.

•Downtown Alley project: Concrete alley reconstruction of alley between Main Street and First Street Southwest from Third Avenue South to the Dead End. Project includes replacement of the concrete pavement and storm sewer improvements. Project is scheduled to begin in May.

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