In the afternoon of Monday, Aug. 19, crews closed the two-way segment of Hwy 10 between Wadena County Rd 4 and Harry Rich Drive as they began digging in for the next phase of reconstruction of Hwy 10.

Detour signs send drivers along Harry Rich Dr and CR 4/Sunny Brook Rd. The two month detour is needed to reconstruct the road and replace underground drainage structures near Union Creek. All lanes will reopen in mid-October, according to MnDOT.

You may also encounter temporary shoulder or sidewalk closures, with crews working in various areas on Hwy 10 for the full duration of this project.

Project engineer Matt Indihar met briefly with city staff and business owners to answer questions about the next three phases of the project set for start up in April 2020. He repeated the request for patience during the process so that crews could complete the work and get out of town.

He indicated that the first phase includes reconstruction of the southern lane of Hwy 10 from County Rd 4 west to Second Street. That means Hwy 10 remains open to traffic during that phase.

Phase 2 includes the same stretch of road but on the north side of the highway, also keeping Hwy 10 open.

Phase 3 shuts down Hwy 10 from both directions from Second Street to the fairgrounds, with a start around mid August. During this phase Hwy 71 is open to traffic.

Unlike this year's work, which saw a brief stop in action during the end of July and start of August, work will not stop during the duration of the construction season, Indihar said. The work will likely take place from 7 a.m. to dark Monday - Saturday.

One note that made many in the room pleased was that the reconstruction efforts add medians on Hwy 71, which is funded by MnDOT. These medians were needed in order to bring Wadena closer to having a full-fledged quiet zone, or no more train whistles through the heart of town.

"The reason we are constructing all the way up to Aldrich and all the way back to Birch on the other side is so we can put in a center median, which is required for the quiet zone," Indihar said.

The raised medians keeps drivers from driving around the arms when they are down, Mayor George Deiss noted.

While Indihar advised against all businesses seeking to place their own signage out and about during the construction he indicated that if the group were to band together to have a couple large signs that could get the message across, those signs would be more apt to remain up. He wanted to avoid an abundance of signage that would add confusion for drivers seeking to navigate the road work.

"I don't want to be taking down signs," he said.

The group managed to garner $2,500 from the Wadena Development Authority and Sourcewell to pay for signage efforts for this project.

The working group of business, city and community members came to a decision to use the name "Onedena" moving forward. They felt the name encompassed the desire to work together to help Wadena thrive during the reconstruction of the major arteries through town.

Indihar said perhaps the most difficult part of the project may be the road work up to and over the railroad tracks, without actually stopping trains.

"It will be interesting," he said.

"I think the big thing is people need to be patient," Deiss said. Indihar said they get in trouble for a 15 minute wait up here, where they can have up to an hour wait with work by the cities.

In the end, Indihar said the community should enjoy a nice road for the future, until the four lanes are approved.

Construction open house set for Sept. 24

A Hwy 10 construction project informational session will be hosted at the Maslowski Wellness & Research Community Center from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m., Sept. 24, 2019. The meeting will be held in the gym. Topics of discussion will include detour information, work details, and aerial layouts. Project staff will also be in attendance.