I-35 Construction begins

Published 9:43 am Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Lane closures in both directions on Interstate 35 in Owatonna began Monday as construction crews prepare to begin the second year of a reconstruction project of the highway, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Weather permitting, work on I-35 in Owatonna from the Lemond Road overpass to Steele County Road 2/Hoffman Drive (Exit 42) in the Owatonna corridor will begin preparing for head-to-head traffic to occur later this month by installing guardrail end treatments at bridge locations.

Lane closures are expected to continue this week and the week of April 13 when Mathiowetz Construction of Sleepy Eye, the prime contractor, prepares the road to detour northbound traffic onto southbound lanes for the season. The lane closures for this work are expected to be up during daylight hours only.

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On April 20, weather permitting, traffic will be switched head-to-head in the southbound lanes, so Mathiowetz can begin reconstruction of the northbound lanes, replacement of bridges and the addition of safety improvements, such as an auxiliary lane.

As construction begins, it’s important for motorists to remember that because of the large traffic volumes on I-35, traffic backups and delays occur during weekend travel periods through this construction work zone. Motorist should adjust their travel plans to account for delays.

The $19.1 million project is beginning the second year of a two-year process to replace the concrete I-35 roadways through Owatonna, as well as replace bridges and include additional safety features. Mathiowetz Construction expects to complete the project in fall 2015.

Southbound lanes and bridges were reconstructed in 2014. With this project, MnDOT is working to enhance an efficient and effective transportation system.

MnDOT urges motorists to always be attentive, drive with caution, slow down in work zones and never enter a road blocked with barriers or cones. For real-time traffic and travel information in Minnesota, visit www.511mn.org, call 5-1-1 or log on to www.mndot.gov.Austin, Zietlow expects the current sites — 1401 Fourth St. NW and 1201 W. Oakland Ave. — to remain open.