State construction season advanced nearly 230 projects

Published 6:37 am Friday, November 24, 2023

As temperatures continue to cool and winter settles across the state, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is wrapping up its 2023 construction season during which the agency advanced or completed 227 road and bridge projects.

“This year’s construction season resulted in safer roads, bridges, intersections and improved accessibility for people who use active transportation to walk, bike or roll to local destinations throughout the state,” said MnDOT Commissioner Nancy Daubenberger in a news release. “In addition to resurfacing roads and improving or replacing bridges, crews installed proven safety infrastructure around the state — including nearly 42 miles of center cable median barrier, and more than 30 J-turn intersections or roundabouts. We thank Minnesota travelers for their patience throughout this construction activity, and for slowing down and staying attentive in work zones to keep our workers safe.”

Some work zones around the state may remain active as work wraps up through November. Motorists should stay alert, watch for workers and equipment, and give workers room to safely complete their work.

Major projects completed in 2023

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Notable road construction projects completed during the 2023 construction season include the Third Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis, Highway 52 between Zumbrota and Cannon Falls, Highway 14 between New Ulm and Nicollet (which completes a continuous four-lane highway between New Ulm and Rochester), Highway 23 expansion between Paynesville and Richmond, and three bridge projects along Highway 61 near Lake Superior’s north shore. More construction highlights by region can be found below and at mndot.gov/construction.

Southeast Minnesota (MnDOT District 6)

  • Highway 52 – Zumbrota to Cannon Falls – Completed final year of a three-year project. Crews reconstructed 12.5 miles of southbound Highway 52, built a new interchange at Highway 52 and Highway 57/Goodhue County Road 8, and replaced three bridges at interchanges and one over a river, built a noise wall and installed permanent snow fence.
  • Highway 61 – Lake City to Red Wing – Resurfaced 10 miles of highway, while adding two passing lanes and nine turn lanes.
  • Highway 57 – Kasson  – Crews completed final year of two-year project that reconstructed one mile of road and built two roundabouts.
  • Interstate 35 – Faribault – Completed first year of two-year project. Resurfaced portions of I-35 and repaired two ramps. Work next year includes resurfacing northbound and southbound lanes and reconstructing three I-35 ramps.

Twin Cities

  • Third Avenue bridge – Minneapolis – Crews completed a three-year project that extended the life of the 105-year-old historic bridge in downtown Minneapolis by repairing expansion joints, concrete and bridge foundations, refurbishing an ornamental rail, updated lighting and building a protected bikeway to improve safety.
  • Highway 55/Hiawatha Avenue – Minneapolis – Resurfaced between Interstate 35W and Highway 62, repaired bridges, improved drainage and improved accessibility and safety at intersections.
  • Highway 21 – Jordan – Constructed a roundabout at Highway 21 and County Road 66/Sawmill Road, built trails that connect bike and walking trails and improve accessibility.
  • Highway 169 Interchange – New Hope, Plymouth – Replaced bridge and reconstructed interchange at Highway 169 and County Road 9 (Rockford Road/42nd Avenue) to improve safety, accessibility, improve traffic flow and decrease driving delays.
  • Started multi-year projects to improve I-494 in Bloomington and I-94 between Oakdale and the Wisconsin border.

Northern Minnesota (MnDOT Districts 1 and 2)

  • Highway 61 – Stewart River and Silver Creek – Replaced box culvert with a new bridge, added bike/pedestrian crossing that connects to Gitchi Gami bike trail and completed stream restoration at Silver Creek. Rehabilitated the historic bridge to carry northbound traffic, built a second bridge for southbound traffic, and constructed new turn lanes at Stewart River.
  • Highway 61 – Pigeon River – Improved approaches and redecked bridge spanning the Pigeon River at US-Canadian Border crossing.
  • Highway 38 – Bigfork – Completed reconstruction through the City of Bigfork including new sidewalks, lighting and landscaping.
  • Highway 1/169 – Tower – Resurfaced almost seven miles of Highway 1 and Highway 169 south of Tower.
  • Highway 34 – Akeley – Resurfaced road to provide a smoother ride, improved drainage, improved accessibility, constructed safer intersections and safer pedestrian and bike facilities. Crews will return in spring 2024 to complete remaining work from Akeley Fire Hall to Hillside.
  • Highway 59 – south of Thief River Falls – Resurfaced between Pennington County Road 53 and Thief River Falls, installed roundabout at the Highway 59/Pennington County Road 3 intersection, replaced culverts and widened shoulders. The project provides a smoother ride, improved drainage and a safer intersection.
  • Highway 75/171 – north of Hallock – Resurfaced Highway 75 from Hallock to Canadian border and Highway 171 from Highway 75 to North Dakota border, replaced culverts, to provide a smoother driving surface and improved drainage.
  • Highway 197 – Bemidji – Resurfaced between Bemidji Avenue and Hannah Avenue to extend pavement life before a permanent project is planned in about 10 years. This project was completed at night using lane closures.

Central Minnesota (MnDOT Districts 3 and 4)

  • Highway 10/23 – St. Cloud – Completed the first of a two-year project to reconstruct the Highway 10/Highway 23 interchange in east St. Cloud. Crews reconstructed the westbound Highway 23 road surface, bridge and adjacent entrances between 25th Avenue SE and Wilson Avenue SE; reconstructed the eastbound Highway 10 road surface and adjacent entrances between Benton Drive SE and 15th Avenue SE; and began work on the future Fourth Street bridge.
  • Highway 25 – Brainerd – Replaced the old Highway 25 bridge over the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway line between Highway 210 (Washington Street) and Highway 18 with a new, wider bridge; resurfaced the road north and south of the bridge; added right-turn lanes to Red Pine Road and 28th Street E. Travelers will benefit from a new bridge to last up to 75 years, a smoother road surface and improved safety and access.
  • Highway 169 – Aitkin – Completed first of a two-year project to reconstruct 11 miles of Highway 169 between Aitkin and the Mississippi River, north of Hassman. Crews reconstructed the road surface with a stronger concrete overlay material, widened the shoulders and replaced drainage infrastructure from Highway 210 to the Mississippi River.
  • Highway 169 – Elk River – Completed second year of a multi-year project to convert three miles of Highway 169 through Elk River to a freeway. Crews constructed two new interchanges at School Street and Jackson Avenue/193rd Avenue, including freeway lanes, adjacent city roads and sidewalks, utilities and underground infrastructure.
  • I-94 – Alexandria – Crews resurfaced westbound I-94, west of Alexandria near Highway 114 and constructed roundabouts at the I-94 and Highway 27 interchange near Alexandria.
  • Highway 34 – between Detroit Lakes and Osage – Resurfaced 21-miles and replaced box culvert/bridge over the Shell River.
  • Highway 9 – Barnesville Complete Streets – Crews reconstructed and resurfaced the road, replaced city utilities and improved pedestrian and bicycle access. 

Southwest Minnesota (MnDOT District 7 and District 8)

  • Highway 14 – New Ulm to Nicollet – Crews will soon complete the second year of a two-year project that will convert the two-lane highway to a four-lane divided highway, creating a continuous four-lane road between New Ulm and Rochester. Crews also constructed new interchanges near Courtland and at County Road 37 in New Ulm, added turn lanes and installed snow fence.
  • Highway 23 – New London to Paynesville – Completed the first year of a two-year Corridors of Commerce project to expand Highway 23 to four lanes.
  • Highway 7 – Lester Prairie – Constructed a roundabout at the intersection of Highway 7 and McLeod County Road 1 near Lester Prairie.
  • Highway 212 – Renville to Granite Falls – Resurfaced Highway 212 with concrete from Renville to Granite Falls and reconstructed Highway 212 through Sacred Heart; updated sidewalks, pedestrian ramps and adjacent driveways; added a westbound passing lane near Granite Falls.
  • Highway 15/60 – Madelia – Resurfaced seven miles with a concrete pavement overlay; updated lighting and guardrail, improved drainage, and rehabbed several bridges.
  • Interstate 90 – Blue Earth to Wells – Resurfaced westbound lanes from two miles west of Highway 169 to Highway 22 south of Wells, improved ramps, bridges, culverts and lighting. Eastbound lanes will be under construction in 2024.

For a complete list of current and future MnDOT construction projects, including plans and studies, see mndot.gov/roadwork.