Patience is running thin on the road closures of Nicollet County Road 1 and Nicollet County Road 12, as well as the load limits on Nicollet County Road 14.

I am the District 5 county commissioner. My patience is also running thin. The staff at Nicollet County are also frustrated.

I would like to share some of the impediments of getting County Road 1 open, as that is the simple issue. We applied to the Federal Highway Administration, as the state will not help us financially if we don’t. Looking back we maybe should have paid the whole bill, but we usually try to get state and federal money because over half our budget comes from these sources.

I certainly don’t want my county taxes to double.

The following list may not be complete but we needed approval from: Federal Highway Administration, MnDOT, state endangered species, federal endangered species, Indian tribes of Minnesota, state historical review, state environmental and cultural review and Army Corps of Engineers wetland review. Most of these approvals would be needed even if the county had paid the entire bill.

The final plan for County Road 1 has been submitted to MnDOT and the Federal Highway Administration. They indicated we should be able to request bids in late August.

If there are no hiccups, we should be able to award a contract about Sept. 10.

The state and federal agencies do prioritize high volume roads in the approval process. This hurts our rural roads.

County roads 12 and 14 are more complex and even slower.

Sorry about the slow service. However, most of the difficulties are not of local origin.

John Luepke 


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