- Kevin Gutknecht
Minnesota Department of Transportation
Office of Communications
395 John Ireland Blvd.
Mail Stop 150
St. Paul, MN 55155-1899
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Completion of several high-profile projects marks end of 2011 construction season
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Interstate 35 Mega Project in Duluth, the Hwy 14 project between Waseca and Owatonna, and the Hwy 169/I-494 interchange in the Twin Cities Metro Area are among more than 250 state Hwy and bridge projects that were under construction in 2011.
“Crews worked hard this construction season to resurface roads, replace bridges, improve drainage systems, repair guard rail, install cable barriers and complete other vital transportation projects aimed at improving the quality of life for all Minnesotans,” said Tom Sorel, Minnesota Department of Transportation commissioner. “MnDOT appreciates motorists’ patience throughout this season as we worked to improve the safety and trafficability of Minnesota’s transportation system.”
Of this year’s 258 state Hwy and bridge projects, 128 have been completed as of Nov. 1. The remaining 130 projects will either be completed by the end of 2011 or continue into next year or longer.
The 2011 construction season was interrupted in July by a three-week government shutdown. Since the return to work on July 21, MnDOT and crews have been working hard to make up lost time on construction projects, which has been helped considerably by a dry fall.
Projects in the Twin Cities include:
- Hwy 169/I-494 interchange reconstruction project in the southwestern Twin Cities Metro Area–MnDOT saved more than $30 million on the project through a performance-based design process that allowed the department to critically evaluate needs against resources available to achieve the best low-cost, high-benefit solution for the traffic needs in the area. Work is scheduled for completion in November 2012. (Construction cost: $125 million)
- I-94 from the Fish Lake Interchange to Rogers in the northwestern Twin Cities Metro Area– Work is complete on the project, a collaborative effort between MnDOT and the city of Rogers that improved safety along I-94 to its connection with Hwy 101 in Rogers. (Construction cost: $28 million—MnDOT share: $22 million)
- Hwy 52 Lafayette Bridge project in St. Paul–The project began in January 2011 and is scheduled for completion in fall 2014. (Construction cost: $132 million)
- Hwy 169 Triangle project in the northwestern Twin Cities Metro Area–The recently reconstructed interchange at Hwy 169, County Road 81 and 85th Avenue will reduce congestion and improve safety for motorists. This was a collaborative project between MnDOT, Hennepin County and city of Brooklyn Park. (Construction cost: $51 million—MnDOT share: $35 million)
- Hwy 61 Hastings Bridge project over the Mississippi River–The project began in October 2010 and is scheduled for completion in late 2013. (Construction cost: $120 million)
Projects in northern and central Minnesota include:
- I-35 Mega Project in Duluth–Work is substantially complete on the project, which includes several safety improvements, such as wider shoulders, improved sight distance, and enhanced lighting and pavement markings. The three-year project is scheduled for completion in 2012. (Construction cost: $69 million)
- Hwy 23 expansion project between St. Cloud and Foley–The multi-year project is scheduled for completion in late 2012. (Construction cost: $26 million)
- Hwy 371 reconstruction project between Baxter and Nisswa–Work is complete on the 13-mile project, which includes upgraded traffic signals, new turn lanes and a resurfaced road. (Construction cost: $8.4 million)
- Hwy 71/Hwy 197 expansion project on the south end of Bemidji—Work is nearing completion on this six-mile project, which is expanding the Hwy from two lanes to four—five lanes in the city of Bemidji—and adding a new bridge over Hwy 2. (Construction cost: $24 million)
- Hwy 75/Clay County Road 12 roundabout project south of Moorhead—Work is complete on the roundabout, which is the first to be completed on a state Hwy in west central Minnesota. (Construction cost: $2.2 million)
Projects in southern Minnesota include:
- Hwy 14 between Waseca and Owatonna—Work is progressing on the multi-year project, which includes a new interchange at I-35 and Hwy 14. Construction is ongoing and is scheduled for completion in summer 2012. (Construction cost: $107.8 million)
- Hwy 14 resurfacing project in Rochester—Work is complete on the project, which included curb and gutter work, landscaping, new bike trails and fiber-optic technology. (Construction cost: $6 million)
- Hwy 23 bypass project in Paynesville–Construction began in spring 2009 and is scheduled for completion in August 2012. (Construction cost: $32.2 million)
- Hwy 60 four-lane expansion project between Worthington and Bigelow–The three-phase project began in summer 2010 and is scheduled for completion in 2013. (Construction cost: $45 million)
- Hwy 83 resurfacing project from Mankato to Hwy 30–Work is nearing completion on the project, with Hwy 83 scheduled to open in early November. (Construction cost: $10 million)
For a list of recently completed projects, visit www.dot.state.mn.us/roadwork/complete.html; ongoing projects, visit www.dot.state.mn.us/roadwork/current.html; and future projects, visit www.dot.state.mn.us/roadwork/future.html.
Although the majority of 2011 construction work is coming to an end, work on several projects throughout the state will continue through the winter as weather permits.
“We ask motorists to continue to pay extra attention and follow posted speed limits when traveling through work zones,” Sorel said. “Your destination is our priority, and we need your help to ensure that you get there safely."