The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Construction update

April 8, 2014

Numerous road projects on county's to-do list

MANKATO — Barring any big snow or rain storms, work could be under way within two weeks on Blue Earth County Road 17 as the local construction season gets off to an early start.

The work on County Road 17 — which is old Highway 14 and Madison Avenue as it heads east from Mankato — will prompt the closure of the road just east of Mankato Ford. Whether the road will be immediately shut down all the way to Eagle Lake will be decided by Mathiowetz Construction, County Engineer Al Forsberg told the County Board during a pre-construction-season update Tuesday.

Mathiowetz must complete work on the west end of County Road 17 by June 1 to avoid penalties and collect bonuses on the fast-tracked effort. The road needs to be open to County Road 12 to provide alternate routes for drivers when Highway 22 is shut down for roundabout construction at Madison Avenue and Adams Street.

Mathiowetz also needs to reconstruct County Road 17 between County Road 12 and Eagle Lake by this fall, but the board is hoping the company will focus on the west end in the next two months and leave the east end open to traffic.

"We'll be meeting with them next week," Forsberg said of Mathiowetz. "... We'll share that preference with them, but we don't have any leverage or control over that."

County Road 12 extension

Forsberg laid out the four primary intersections planned for County Road 12 when it's extended southward to Highway 83 from where it now ends at County Road 17. The $8.5 million road extension, which will be extended when funding becomes available, is intended to relieve traffic pressure on Highway 22 and to serve anticipated east-side development.

"There are some (development) possibilities now, and developers are going to want to know where future intersections are going to be," Forsberg said.

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