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’Tis (almost) the season

City, county and state road construction projects scheduled

By Sarah Stultz and Sam Wilmes

More than a dozen road construction projects are planned this summer in Freeborn County.

The largest project is 12 miles of surface work with a price tag of $5.02 million. The project will span from Freeborn County Road 60 to Freeborn County Road 46.

The city will have its annual neighborhood improvement project in central Albert Lea, the replacement of some downtown sidewalks and the overlay of a portion of Lakeview Boulevard, along with other work throughout the community.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation earlier this month announced $1.1 billion in state road and bridge projects that will be worked on across Minnesota this year.

According to a press release, the list includes $124.5 million in work this season on 24 projects in southeast Minnesota.

“These projects are critical investments in Minnesota’s aging transportation system,” said MnDOT commissioner Charles Zelle. “We will repave roads, repair and paint bridges, replace culverts and rehabilitate structures such as the Stillwater Lift Bridge.”

Zelle also announced 49 multimodal projects valued at $32 million. These include airport, port and railroad projects that are outside of the state road construction program.

The following is a list of both local and state projects that will be taking place this summer:

Minnesota Department of Transportation projects

Minnesota Highway 13 in Waseca County

• Description: Resurfacing from Highway 30 in New Richland to about one mile south of Highway 14. Work includes six culvert replacements.

• Construction dates: April 30 to July 27.

• Construction bid: $3.9 million, Ulland Brothers of Albert Lea.

• Traffic impacts: Detour during culvert replacements, lane closures.

Interstate 35 in Rice County

• Description: Four miles of concrete paving southbound lanes from Rice County Road 9 to Highway 21 at Faribault.

• Construction dates: July 23 to late October.

• Construction estimate: $8.05 million; bid letting is May 18.

• Traffic impacts: Two-lane, two-way traffic on the northbound lanes; detour for southbound exit 59 to Highway 21; long delays expected on weekends.

Interstate 35 and Highway 14 in Steele County (carryover)

• Description: Design-build I-35 bridge replacements south of Owatonna (six bridges), plus four bridges on Highway 14 south of Owatonna. Two additional bridges are now included.

• Construction dates: April through fall.

• Construction bid: $29.6 million.

• Traffic impacts: Two-lane, two-way traffic on the southbound lanes of I-35 and on the eastbound lanes of Highway 14; ramp detours at the I-35 and Highway 14 interchange; I-35 northbound rest area closed; delays expected on weekends.

Interstate 35 in Steele County

• Description: Intelligent transportation system installation from the Freeborn and Steele county line to south of Highway 14.

• Construction dates: To be determined.

• Construction estimate: $771,747, Premier Electrical Corp. of Brooklyn Park.

• Traffic impacts: Minimal.

Interstate 35 in Freeborn County

• Description: High-tension cable median barrier installation north of Interstate 90 to Clarks Grove.

Construction dates: Aug. 20 (tentative); bid letting May 18.

• Construction estimate: To be determined.

• Traffic impacts: Long-term southbound lane restrictions.

Interstate 35 in Freeborn County

• Description: Weigh station and inspection site improvement project northbound at Clarks Grove.

• Construction dates: Late June to fall.

• Construction estimate: $2 million; bid letting is April 27.

• Traffic impacts: Temporary northbound lane closures.

Interstate 90 in Freeborn County

• Description: Preparation for concrete paving project in 2019 with construction of crossover lanes; work in 2019 will be paving of westbound lanes from Minnesota Highway 13 to Freeborn County Road 46 at Petran.

• Construction dates: Aug. 20 through October for crossover construction; full construction project to begin in May 2019.

• Construction estimate: $19 million; bid letting May 18.

• Traffic impacts: Long-term left lane closures in both directions.

Freeborn County road construction projects

Freeborn County Highway 4

• Description: 12 miles of surface work from County Road 60 to Freeborn County Highway 46.

• Construction dates: Project is expected to be complete in early October.

• Construction estimate: $5.02 million.

• Traffic impacts: Local traffic only during the project.

Freeborn County Highway 6

• Description: 0.5 miles of overlay work from Freeborn County Highway 46 to Interstate 90 ramps.

• Construction dates: Project is expected to be complete in early October.

• Construction estimate: $90,000.

• Traffic impacts: Constructed under traffic with intermittent delays when operations are in progress.

Freeborn County Highway 9

• Description: 5.5 miles of mill and overlay work from Freeborn County Highway 4 to Highway 14 to U.S. Highway 69.

• Construction dates: Project is expected to be complete in early October.

• Construction estimate: $1.76 million.

• Traffic impacts: Constructed under traffic with intermittent delays when operations are in progress.

Freeborn County Road 60

• Description: 1.5 miles of mill and overlay work from the Winnebago County line to Freeborn County Highway 4.

• Construction dates: Project is expected to be complete in early October.

• Construction estimate: $208,423.

• Traffic impacts: Constructed under traffic with intermittent delays when operations are in progress.

Albert Lea road construction projects

2018 neighborhood improvement project

• Description: Bituminous mill and overlay, miscellaneous curb and gutter and sidewalk replacement on Wilby Circle, Wilby Road, Shore Acres Drive, Brookside Drive, Brookside Circle, Bayview Drive, Crescent Circle, Oakhurst Road, West Avenue, Water Street from West Avenue to Broadway Avenue, St. Mary Avenue from Clark Street to Fountain Street, William Street from Elizabeth Avenue to East Main Street, Elizabeth Avenue from William Street to College Street, Main Court from Elizabeth Avenue to East Main Street and Triangle Drive from Wedgemore to the north end.

• Construction dates: Project is expected to start in early June and be complete by the end of August.

• Construction estimate: $1.17 million.

• Traffic impacts: Streets are expected to largely remain open to traffic, with short periods of closure.

2018 state aid street overlay project

• Description: Bituminous mill and overlay and miscellaneous curb and gutter and sidewalk replacement on Margaretha Avenue from Eighth Street to S.E. Broadway Avenue, Plaza Street from Freeborn County Highway 20 to approximately 3,171 feet to the east and Plaza Street from approximately 2,060 feet west of Bridge Avenue to approximately 1,112 feet of Bridge Avenue.

• Construction dates: Project is expected to start in early June and be complete by the end of August.

• Construction estimate: $270,000.

• Traffic impacts: Streets are expected to mainly remain open to traffic, with short periods of closure.

Downtown sidewalk replacement project

• Description: Replacement of damaged or displaced sidewalk on Newton Avenue from Pearl Street to Fountain Street, Washington Avenue from Pearl Street to Fountain Street, Pearl Street from Washington Avenue to Broadway Avenue, College Street from Washington Avenue to Newton Avenue, William Street from Washington Avenue to Newton Avenue and Clark Street from Washington Avenue to Newton Avenue.

• Construction dates: Project is expected to start in early June and be complete by the end of September.

• Construction estimate: $560,000.

• Traffic impacts: Streets will remain open to traffic.

Vinehurst Avenue reconstruction

• Description: Reconstruction of bituminous surface, aggregate base, curb and gutter and sidewalk on Vinehurst Avenue from Fountain Street to Grace Street.

• Construction dates: Project is expected to start in early June and be complete by the end of August.

• Construction estimate: $125,000.

• Traffic impacts: Vinehurst Avenue will be closed to traffic during the project.

Johnson Street reconstruction project

• Description: Complete reconstruction, including paving, curb and gutter, sidewalk and underground utility work on Johnson Street from North Shore Avenue to Valley Avenue.

• Construction dates: Project is expected to start in early June and be complete by the end of October.

• Construction estimate: $1.04 million.

• Traffic impacts: Johnson Street will be closed to traffic during the project. Driveway access for residents within the project area is expected to be maintained to the extent possible, but there will be times where it is not possible.

Bay Oaks Drive and Sundance Lane reconstruction project

• Description: Reconstruction of bituminous pavement and aggregate base on Bay Oaks Drive from Minnesota Highway 13 to the cul-de-sac and Sundance Lane from Highway 13 to Bay Oaks Drive.

• Construction dates: Project is expected to start in July and be complete by the end of October.

• Construction estimate: $360,000.

• Traffic impacts: Streets are expected to be closed to traffic during the project. Driveway access for residents within the project area will be maintained to the extent possible, but there will be times when that is not possible.

Lakeview Boulevard resurfacing

• Description: Street resurfacing from The Fairway to Martin Road.

• Construction dates: Project is expected to start in July and be complete by the end of October.

• Construction estimate: None available.

• Traffic impacts: Lakeview Boulevard will be inaccessible to traffic during the project.

Downtown parking lot project

• Description: Bituminous resurfacing of two municipal lots at the intersection of William Street and St. Mary Avenue.

• Construction dates: Project is expected to start in early June and be complete by the end of October.

• Construction estimate: $200,000.

• Traffic impacts: The parking lots will be closed during the project.

Plaza Street realignment

• Description: Construction of the new road. The new roadway embankment was allowed to settle over the wetland area over the winter. This project is carried over from 2017.

• Construction dates: Expected completion by the end of July.

• Construction estimate: $425,000.

• Traffic impacts: Existing roadway is expected to remain open until the new alignment is complete and ready for traffic.

Lake Avenue and College Street reconstruction

• Description: Placing the final layer of bituminous and sod on Lake Avenue from Clark Street to William Street, Lake Avenue alley extension from William Street to Elizabeth Avenue and College Street from Newton Avenue to the east end. This project is carried over from 2017.

• Construction dates: Expected completion by the end of June.

• Construction estimate: $720,000.

• Traffic impacts: The road is expected to mainly remain open, with brief periods of closure when work is being done.