Minnesota Department of Transportation

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News releases

June 2, 2023

Latest news releases

Update June 9, 2023: Schedule change: Contractor revises project start date to July 6

Work to begin July 6 on Hwy 34 between Detroit Lakes and Osage

DETROIT LAKES, Minn.—The start date for the Hwy 34 project, between County Road 29 east of Detroit Lakes to County Road 26/47 west of Osage, has been tentatively rescheduled to Thursday, June 15, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The adjustment is due to a change in the contractor’s schedule. Project completion is still set for mid-October.

When construction begins, local traffic will encounter daily lane closures, potential short-term local detours, flaggers and pilot cars on Hwy 34. Motorists should expect delays in the work zone.

Thru-traffic will be detoured to County Road 47, Hwy 87 and County Road 29. If your destination does not fall within the project limits, you must use the detour or find an alternate route. From one end of the project to the other, the detour could add 20 extra miles to your drive; however, work zone delays on Hwy 34 will also impact travel time. Please plan accordingly.

This year, MnDOT will be completing a 21-mile resurfacing project on Hwy 34, from County Road 29 (four corners) to County Road 26/47 (old Hwy 225). In addition to the resurfacing, crews will replace culverts as well as the bridge over the Shell River.

Construction staging

Toad Lake is located at approximately the center of the project. Crews will start by replacing entrance pipes and centerline culverts at the intersection of County Road 29 and Hwy 34, working east to Toad Lake. Once culverts in that section are complete, they’ll work on culverts east of Toad Lake, working east. Each culvert replacement is anticipated to take approximately one to three days, this will vary depending on location. Please obey traffic control and follow the instructions on the message boards.

Paving is expected to start in early August, with operations moving approximately 5 miles per week.

The bridge/box culvert replacement at the Shell River is tentatively scheduled for August, and will take about five weeks to complete. All schedules and work plans are subject to change at any time based on weather, contractor schedules or other unforeseen circumstances or issues.

Residential, business and local access

Throughout the duration of construction, driveway and entrance access will be maintained at all times. For those who have a destination north or south of Hwy 34, you may still use Hwy 34 to get to your road. All local traffic should anticipate long delays and periodic stops in the areas where crews are working. It is advised to use an alternate route or the detour if you can. Portions of Hwy 34 will be impassable at times during culvert work and the bridge replacement. MnDOT urges motorists to always be attentive, drive with caution and slow down in work zones where workers are present.

For more information about the project and to sign up for project email updates, visit the Hwy 34 project website. Central Specialties, Inc., based in Alexandria is the prime contractor for the $15.7 million project.