Orange cone alert: MnDOT announces 221 construction projects coming this summer
ST. PAUL -- Buckle up, Minnesota. Construction season is on the way.
The state Department of Transportation on Thursday, April 4, unveiled its list of 221 infrastructure construction projects slated for this spring and summer. And department leaders shared them with a word of warning for Minnesotans: get ready to spend some more time in the car.
In the Twin Cities, the $240 million I-35W downtown to crosstown project is set to continue, likely causing headaches and delays for many. And projects along I-35 from Albert Lea to Duluth are set to stall traffic up and down the roadway.
“I-35 is going to be a challenge this year," Sue Mulvihill, MnDOT deputy commissioner, said. "We understand the frustration, but I can tell you we certainly certainly appreciate your patience."
In Southern Minnesota, I-90 will undergo resurfacing, requiring periodic lane closures. And work on expanding Highway 14 to four lanes is set to continue between Owatonna and Dodge Center.
Between 2013 and 2018, 52 people died and more than 4,800 were injured in work zone crashes, according to state statistics and in 2018 alone, nine people were killed in work zone crashes and 534 were injured.
“Put the distractions away and plan ahead," Minnesota State Patrol Lieutenant Gordon Shank said. "Be safe and make sure everyone gets to where they have to go safely so we don't keep bringing up statistics of people who lost their lives due to an action that was completely preventable."
Shank said drivers should be aware the speeding fines can double in work zones. And he urged drivers to plan ahead and consider detour routes where they are available.
Transportation Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher also took the opportunity to stump for Gov. Tim Walz's proposal to phase in a 20-cent-per-gallon tax hike on gasoline, saying hundreds of future construction projects would require a dedicated funding source to get up and running.
"We have over 500 projects like these on our list that we would like to be able to complete for Minnesotans all around the state, 500 projects who are waiting in the wings," Anderson Kelliher said. "Without further funding, we will not be able to do that."
Republican lawmakers have opposed the tax hike, saying it is the wrong approach to funding repairs to Minnesota's roads and bridges.
So is construction coming to a road near you? Take a look.
Twin Cities area projects
· I-35W Minnesota River Bridge replacement – Replace bridge and pavement between Cliff Rd. and 106th St., raise I-35W out of the floodplain and improve pedestrian access across the river
· I-35W Downtown to Crosstown – Replace and improve bridges and pavement on I-35W from 46th St. to 11th Ave, Hwy 65 from 26th St. to 15th St., and I-94 from Nicollet Ave. to Park Ave. Build new MnPASS lane, Orange Line Bus Rapid Transit Station, improve access to Lake Street Business District, noise and safety improvements
· I-35W MnPASS North – Construct MnPASS Express Lane between CR C in Roseville and Lexington Ave. in Blaine, repave I-35W and ramps, repair and replace several bridges and install seven noise walls
· I-35 split in Forest Lake – Repave six miles from just south of the I-35 split to north of Hwy 8 at the Chisago/Washington county line, repair three bridges
· I-35 concrete overlay in Pine City – Resurface more than eight miles between Harris and the Chisago/Pine County line, update drainage and improve safety
· I-694/94/494 interchange – Replace and widen NB and SB interchange bridges, repair pavement, build new auxiliary lanes, buffer lanes and reconstruct ramp
· I-494 pavement rehab in Inver Grove Heights – Widen and resurface bridge deck over Concord St./Hwy 156, repair and replace pavement, build auxiliary lane, improve drainage, build noise wall
· I-35 Snake River – Construct four new bridges at Snake River at Hwy 70 and CR 7 near Pine City, resurface seven miles.
· Highway 65 Sandy River – Resurface approximately 16 miles from Sandy River to Hwy 200, repair or replace several culverts and make accessibility improvements at the Big Sandy Lake Overlook
· Highway 65 Aitkin/Itasca counties – Resurface approximately 25 miles from Hwy 200 to Hwy 169 near Pengilly
· Highway 371 Cass Lake – Urban reconstruct in Cass Lake, improve pedestrian accessibility and upgrade signal on Hwy 2
· Highway 71 – Construct roundabout at Hubbard CR 53/15 in Park Rapids
· Highway 75 – Urban reconstruct and flood mitigation in Hendrum and Halstad
· I-94 Alexandria to Garfield – Concrete resurface approximately 6 miles from Hwy 29 near Alexandria to Hwy 114 near Garfield, replace eastbound I-94 bridge over Lake Latoka, Lake Latoka Rest Area closed during construction
· Hwy 59/55/79 – Resurface and reconstruct these highways in Elbow Lake, lighting and pedestrian accessibility improvements
· I-94 Monticello – Reconstruct and improve 14 miles in Monticello from Hwy 25 to Hwy 24; add lanes, new pavements, reconstruct bridges and safety improvements
· I-94 Albertville – Reconstruct 6 miles near Albertville Hwy 241 to CR 19; add lanes, new pavement, reconstruct bridges and safety improvements
· Highway 15 Kimball – Reconstruct 12 miles from Hwy 55 in Kimball to 66th Ave. in St. Augusta, replace and repair culverts and improve accessibility and signal at Hwy 15/CR 37/CR 136 intersection in St. Augusta
· Highway 10 Wadena – Reconstruct and widen Hwy 10 through Wadena business district, including traffic signal replacement and upgrade pedestrian sidewalks. Resurface Hwy 10 from Bluffton to Oink Joint Rd
· Highway 210 Brainerd – Reconstruct 14 miles from end of four-lane in Brainerd to 7th Ave. in Ironton, replace and repair pipes and improve access
· Highway 14 Tracy – Resurface approximately 13 miles from 4th St. in Tracy to CR 7 in Revere, repair culverts and guardrail
· Highway 40 Milan bridge – Replace bridge over Lac qui Parle Lake west of Milan
· I-90 Albert Lea - Resurface westbound I-90 with concrete from Hwy 13 near Albert Lea to CR 46
· I-90 bridge – Repair bridges at 12 locations on I-90 between St. Charles and Nodine
· I-90 Dakota – Resurface all lanes of I-90 between Hwy 61 near Dakota to Wisconsin border
· Highway 14 – Expand Hwy 14 to four lanes between Owatonna and Dodge Center
· Highway 61 – Resurface approximately 21 miles from Lake City to Hwy 42 near Kellogg
· I-90 Fairmont – Resurface 16 miles of westbound I-90 from Hwy 15 in Fairmont to the Blue Earth River
· Highway 60 – Repair and resurface approximately 13 miles from Hwy 4 west of St. James to Hwy 15
· Highway 14/Highway15 New Ulm Gateway – Replace New Ulm river bridge, Front Street Bridge and build interchange at Hwy 14/Hwy 15/County Road 21
· Highway 63 Red Wing Bridge – Replace Hwy 63 bridges over the Mississippi River and Highway 61 and realign the approach roads
You can read a full list of the projects here: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/roadwork/current.html.