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Letter: An update on scheduled road construction

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With Minnesota's second season -- road construction -- nearly upon us, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) will soon be making improvements to several area roads this summer and beyond.

I've worked hard in the past to secure state funding for rural Minnesota roads and bridges, and I'm happy to see good progress being made on some important area transportation projects.

Significant progress is being made on the four-lane Highway 60 project, and I've received an updated timeline from MnDOT on its expected completion. But first, I want to alert drivers to other projects that could impact their travels this summer:

* The Highway 71 Bridge over the Des Moines River in Windom will be replaced. Expect construction from July to October, and detours to local roads.

* Highway 62 from Fulda to Windom will be repaired in July. Expect brief delays.

* The eastbound lanes of Highway 60 from Worthington to Wilder will be resurfaced. Expect construction from July to October, and reduced lanes while work is taking place.

* Highway 59 at Ryan's Road in Worthington will see a frontage road realigned for safety improvements. Expect construction all summer and short-term lane closures.

As for Highway 60, MnDOT says Phase 1 construction on the northbound lanes from Nobles County Road 4 north of Bigelow to Paul Avenue in Worthington will begin in July. In 2011, you can expect Highway 60 to be detoured to Nobles County Roads 4 and 5 while the southbound lanes are built on the existing alignment. The four-lane project on this stretch of Highway 60 should be completed in the fall of 2011.

Phase 2 of the Highway 60 four-lane project from Paul Avenue to Nobles County Road 35 in Worthington is also scheduled to begin in 2011, and will likely be completed in 2012. This includes work on the new lanes and the construction of a roundabout.

Phase 3, which covers Nobles County Road 35 to Interstate 90 in Worthington, is scheduled for 2013.

The four-lane Highway 60 project from Windom to St. James has completed the environmental review, aerial photos and mapping and initiated the project scoping. The next steps consist of design, property acquisitions and public meetings with construction scheduled to begin in 2014.

For more information, visit the MNDOT Web site at www.dot.state.mn.us/d7/projects/hwy60stjames/.

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