The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

July 26, 2013

MnDOT 20-year plan entering final stage

Mankato's hearing is on Monday


The roundabouts, on Highway 22 at Madison Avenue and Adams Street, are estimated to cost about $7 million, of which MnDOT will pay $4.4 million. The city and Blue Earth County will pick up the rest. Both roundabouts are slated to be finished next year.

The flood mitigation project, estimated to cost between $28.8 million and $34 million through 2016, will raise about five miles of Highway 169 between Mankato and Le Sueur about one foot above the 100-year flood elevation. The department is also repairing the driving surface of about 15 miles of the highway, though nine of those miles (the ones north of St. Peter) will include a fix to only the southbound lanes.

A small piece of Highway 22 near St. Peter also will be raised in 2015.

The Veterans Memorial Bridge upgrades are listed as 50 percent for bicyclists and 50 percent for walkers. It may include widening sidewalks and putting a barrier between the sidewalk and the road, said Lisa Bigham, planning director for District 7.

“We’re looking for public input and are getting design alternatives very soon,” she said. The project is budgeted for 2015.

The Highway 60 four-lane expansion will be completed in two stages.

The first, from Mountain Lake to Butterfield, will be completed in 2015 at a cost of $14.5 million. It will be designed in both concrete and asphalt variants, and contractors will bid on each. Concrete is more costly to build, but MnDOT factors in its increased lifespan with the bids.

The final piece, westward to Windom, is scheduled for 2017 at a cost of $30 million.

Last summer, Gov. Mark Dayton pledged that Highway 14 would get a four-lane expansion between North Mankato and Nicollet by 2018. The plan budgets $19 million for the construction.

The costliest changes to Highway 14 are the replacement of two bridges in New Ulm at a combined cost of $43.3 million. It may seem counter-intuitive that a single bridge (the Minnesota River bridge is estimated at $30 million) would cost more than a six-mile highway expansion, but bridges just tend to cost more, said Zachary Tess, a MnDOT project manager.

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