Hwy 71 resurfacing south of Bemidji begins Aug. 12
Motorists should expect delays of up to 15 minutes
BEMIDJI, Minn. – Motorists on Hwy 71 south of Bemidji can expect delays beginning Monday, Aug. 12 as crews microsurface a ten-mile segment between Hubbard County Road 9 and Hwy 200 in Kabekona.
A pilot car and flaggers will control traffic through the workzone, and motorists should plan for daily lane closures of up to 15 minutes in the area where crews are working. Access will be maintained for all local residents, businesses and intersections, but temporary closures can be expected as resurfacing takes place at those locations.
The resurfacing portion of the project, which will cause the longest delays for motorists, is expected to last only three to four days, weather permitting. The entire project will be complete near the end of August.
“Microsurfacing in this area will limit the larger impacts on motorists to only a few days, rather than a few weeks as with a traditional mill and overlay,” said Jim Bittmann, MnDOT materials engineer. “It’s not practical for all locations though.”
Microsurfacing is a short-term, preventive maintenance technique that uses a quick setting emulsion of oil, water, cement and aggregate to level out the existing driving surface by eliminating wheel ruts and minor imperfections. It is designed to extend the life of the existing roadway an additional seven to ten years.
“It works best on a pavement that doesn’t have much cracking on the surface,” said Bittmann. “We haven’t done much microsurfacing in this part of the state though, because the costs were just too high for the type of fix it provided. Every project is unique and must be studied individually. In this location, with required aggregates becoming more available, microsurfacing gave us our highest return on investment.”
Asphalt Surface Technologies Corporation is the contractor for this preventive maintenance project. It cost $477,400 and will extend the life of the current pavement surface.
MnDOT urges motorists to always drive with caution, slowdown in work zones and never enter a road blocked with barriers or cones.