Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Highway 61 Resurfacing

North of Lake City to South of Red Wing

About this project

Hwy 61 Resurfacing Map
Hwy 61 resurfacing map

Public meeting summary

MnDOT hosted a public meeting on July 12, 2022 that highlighted five projects occurring along Hwy 61 through 2024. In the meeting summary, you can view materials that were at the meeting.

Summary of work

A project is being planned to resurface approximately 10 miles of Hwy 61 from Lake City to Red Wing. Each day approximately 8,000 drivers rely on Hwy 61 to travel to and from work, school and home and transport goods to regional destinations. The highway is in need of updates to restore the life of the aging road.

In a process called mill and overlay, MnDOT will remove (or mill) a 1.5-inch layer of pavement from the road and then repave it (or overlay) with a new, three-inch layer of asphalt. This process will provide a smoother road surface for motorists and restore the life of the aging highway. Pavement markings will also be updated, improving safety for both pedestrians and motorists.

The project will also include adding passing lanes near Frontenac to reduce congestion and allow an area for safer passing between Lake City and Red Wing. To create the bypass lanes, MnDOT will turn an intersection at the western end of 296th St. into a cul-de-sac.

MnDOT will also realign some intersections so that vehicles waiting to enter or cross Hwy 61 will have improved visibility, widen the road in multiple places to accommodate a bike lane, upgrade guardrails, and complete bridge maintenance.

A flyover video demonstrating the improvements planned for this stretch of Hwy 61 is available to view.

Proposed work

  • Resurface approximately 10 miles of Hwy 61 from Lake City to Red Wing
  • Add passing lanes in both directions near Frontenac
  • Turn the intersection at the western end of 296th St. into a cul-de-sac to accommodate the passing lane
  • Realign intersections to improve visibility
  • Widen the road in multiple places to accommodate a bike lane
  • Upgrade guardrails
  • Complete bridge maintenance
  • Update pavement markings to improve safety for both pedestrians and motorists

Traffic impacts

Hwy 61 detour routes
Hwy 61 detour map

During certain points in construction next year, two different detours will be in place. When crews are working on the bridge over Wells Creek and near Hansen’s Harbor, detour A will be used. Motorists will follow Goodhue Co. Rd. 5 to Goodhue Co. Rd. 2 and return to Hwy 61 near Frontenac.

When crews are constructing the passing lanes west of Frontenac and working at Ski Rd. and 286th St. intersections, detour B will be used. Motorists will follow Goodhue Co. Rd. 5 to Hwy 58 and return to Hwy 61 in Red Wing.

Bicyclists following the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) will follow the same detour routes as vehicles.

Repaving will occur with traffic on the roadway. A detour is not needed during that time, but lanes of traffic will be shifted.

Access to residents and businesses along Hwy 61 will be available. Traffic may have to come from one side of the construction zone or another depending on the work that day.