Work on Highway 4 in St. James resumed April 30, 2018.
The 2018 work requires a detour consisting of Watonwan County Road 56 (1st Avenue), Watonwan County Road 55 and Highway 4. The project detour for 2018 begins downtown and then follows the 2017 detour route to the north.
2018 project work includes the completion of concrete pedestrian ramp and sidewalk that didn’t get completed in 2017, along with street and utility reconstruction north of 8th Avenue North in St. James. Permanent lane markings will be placed in 2018 and boulevard trees will also be planted.
About this project
July-Oct, 2016 - Major construction on 8th Avenue North & Weston Ave
May-Oct, 2017 - Major construction from 10th Avenue South to 8th Avenue North (requires Hwy 4 detour)
August 31, 2017 - Roundabout Rodeo
April-Sept, 2018 - Major construction from 8th Avenue North to 11th Avenue North (requires Hwy 4 detour)
May-June, 2019 - Project finalized
Hwy 4 through the city of St. James is in poor condition and in disrepair. The city utility infrastructure is also in poor condition and is currently experiencing multiple breaks each winter. MnDOT received municipal consent for the project in December 2014. The project includes reconstruction of approximately 1.6 miles of Hwy 4, including two new mini-roundabouts. Project elements include:
Reconstruct Hwy 4 from approximately 200 feet south of 10th Avenue S. to 11th Avenue N.
Realign 7th Avenue S. to address the skew and increase safety
Construct mini-roundabouts at the two existing signals on 1st Avenue
Provide back-in diagonal parking downtown
Replace existing sidewalk and install new sidewalk
Bring all pedestrian accommodations up to Americans with Disability Act (ADA) standards
Upgrade city utility infrastructure - storm sewer throughout the corridor
Hwy 4 improvements require the removal of approximately 130 trees within St. James, including more than 50 Green Ash trees. The tree removal is necessary to complete the street and underground utility work. Arborists have carefully examined more than 200 trees, the effect the proposed construction activity would have on the tree’s immediate health, and ongoing well-being of the tree prior to determining if tree would need to be removed.
Native trees will be planted along Hwy 4 in residential areas following completion of construction work. Approximately 130 new trees of 8-10 different varieties will provide a more diversified and sustainable urban forest in St. James.
In addition, the city of St. James will remove about 75 trees on city streets is working on a reforestation plan.
The Federal Highway Administration announced that MnDOT and the city of St. James have been awarded a demonstration grant to construct two mini-roundabouts and back-in-diagonal parking as part of the Hwy 4 reconstruction project in 2016-17. The Accelerated Innovation Deployment grant is for $934,000 and will be applied to the shared cost of the mini-roundabouts replacing signalized Hwy 4 intersections with 7th Street and Armstrong Boulevard in St. James.