Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

Aug. 30, 2018

Chip sealing on US 71 begins September 10, crews working Labor Day

WILLMAR, Minn. – Chip sealing on US 71 begins September 10, weather permitting.  Chip sealing is a type of paving material that mixes asphalt with pieces of gravel.  A thin layer of liquid asphalt is sprayed on first followed by the placement of gravel.  The gravel is compacted and the excess stone is swept from the surface.  Chip sealing protects the pavement, increases skid resistance and extends the life of the road.

Drivers will notice that chip seals look different than regular pavement.  The chip seal lends a rough, rocky appearance to the road and is generally bulkier than asphalt.  A chip seal may appear red or purple due to the type of stone used.

Drivers will also notice that chips seals are not as quiet as new pavement.  The rough surface can also cause an increase in vibration for bicyclists.  After a winter of plowing, the vehicle noise will diminish and you will notice that the road will not sound as loud.

Chip sealing serves many purposes:

  • Chip seals allow MnDOT the opportunity to preserve roads for a very low cost
  • Chips seals prevent deterioration of the pavement surface from the effects of aging and oxidation as a result of sun, water, traffic and plowing
  • Chip seals enhance safety by providing good skid resistance
  • In hot weather, chip seals re-seal cracks by flowing back together

Although it may seem natural to avoid a road that has been recently coated or fixed, chip sealing is unique in that it does not keep drivers from the road. You can drive on a freshly chip sealed road after it has been swept.

The US 71 North project includes the resurfacing US 71 from the junction of Highway 23 to just north of Highway 9 (less than ½ mile) in Kandiyohi County.  In addition to the resurfacing project, MnDOT will be constructing left and right turning lanes, a bypass lane and a pedestrian underpass (as part of a DNR trail extension from New London to Sibley State Park) on the same stretch of road. 

The anticipated completion date of the project is now September 12, 2018.  The project is behind due to a late spring start (wet weather) and a wet construction season. Crews will be working Labor Day, weather permitting.

The detour of US 71 continues however, all intersections will be open by noon on Friday, August 31.  When work is occurring at the intersection a flagger will be present directing traffic.  Please note that delays of up to 10 minutes could occur during those times.

Motorists can expect a smoother road surface as well as enhanced safety and mobility when the project is finished.  The project is estimated to cost $6 million dollars. Hardrives is the contractor on the project.

Information, including a list of left and right turn locations, can be found at www.dot.state.mn.us/d8/projects/us71north.

For additional updates follow us on Twitter @MnDOTsouthwest