Building demolition will delay detours near Claremont

Published 3:30 pm Tuesday, March 31, 2020

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Construction crews are expected to begin demolition of buildings and removal April 6 as part of the expansion of Highway 14 between Dodge Center and Owatonna, according to a press release. The work will briefly delay the planned detours for motorists in Dodge County, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The project team has reprioritized the removal and disposal of buildings and debris at 12 property sites on the new route, which will then keep Dodge County Road 1 and 630th Street open longer. The roads had originally been scheduled to close April 8, but are expected to close later in April or early May, so crews can begin to build a bridge on Dodge County 1 for an overpass of new Highway 14 and build a new 630th Street.

MnDOT road work has been identified as a critical service in Gov. Tim Walz’s stay at home executive order and will continue. The agency is working to be flexible with scheduling during this period of lower traffic volumes to keep projects moving forward in a timely manner. Following guidance from state health officials and to prevent further spread of COVID-19, crews will maintain social distancing practices while working.

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When detours begin, motorists on Dodge County Road 1 and 630th Street will find detours south of Claremont and should follow signs to access their destinations. Grading work west of Claremont is also expected to begin.

The project will expand 12.5 miles of Highway 14 from two lanes to four lanes between Dodge Center and Owatonna to complete a continuous four-lane road between Mankato and Rochester. The project is intended to improve the capacity, safety, travel times and access between Rochester and Owatonna, as well as the Interstate 35 corridor. The expansion area is a new route for Highway 14, which will stay south of the railroad tracks on the west side of the project, travel south of Claremont and connect where the four-lane highway is west of Dodge Center.

Shafer Contracting of Shafer is the prime contractor for the $107,997,119 construction project.

Construction is scheduled to be completed by 2022. Traffic on the new Highway 14 route is expected in 2021.