The Free Press, Mankato, MN


April 4, 2014

Summer road projects planned

St. Peter drivers to face plenty of orange barrels

The roundabout construction and accompanying shutdown of Highway 22 in Mankato has gotten the most attention locally, but that project isn't the only — nor the most expensive — state road project in the region slated to begin in coming months.

The $7.1 million project to build roundabouts at Highway 22's intersections with Madison Avenue and Adams Street is expected to cause major disruption from June to September in south-central Minnesota's biggest shopping hub. But St. Peter drivers are going to see plenty of orange barrels and lane closures when Highway 169 is reconstructed on the north side of town, with work extending toward Le Sueur. That project — which will create safer intersections on the city's north side, raises the road in flood-prone areas and resurfaces southbound lanes between St. Peter and Le Sueur — totals $11.6 million, and the city also will see a $3.7 million bridge repair at Highway 99.

The costliest project in the Mankato area is a $17 million resurfacing of I-90 between its interchanges with Highway 22 and Highway 109 west of Albert Lea. Highway 60 will see $5 million in construction — part of a two-year, $14 million project to expand the highway to four lanes between St. James and Butterfield and one of the last pieces of a decades-long effort to create a four-lane all the way to the Iowa border. Highway 60 drivers will also encounter a detour north of St. James when a bridge is repaired in May and June.

In the second half of the construction season, there will be a 10-mile replacement of pavement on Highway 109 in Faribault County that will cost nearly $6.5 million, while Gaylord's main drag will receive an upgrade as part of an $8.9 million improvement of Highway 22 from the south city limits to the north city limits.

Truman will see its main street smoothed over starting in August as Minnesota Department of Transportation invests $6.8 million to resurface 15 miles of Highway 15 from Truman to Fairmont and replace pavement on another 11 miles of Highway 15 between Madelia and New Ulm.

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