Minnesota 60 north of Armour Road to open by mid-August
WORTHINGTON -- A lack of rain has helped construction crews gain ground on the Minnesota 60 four-lane expansion project in the city of Worthington, but they still haven't caught up after spring rains set them back earlier this year.
As a result, the contract that was slated to be completed this week -- to open Minnesota 60 from Armour Road north -- has been delayed. Minnesota Department of Transportation District 7 Project Engineer Bob Williams said the opening of that portion of the road will be delayed by about a week and a half to two weeks, with Aug. 9 as the earliest possible date for opening.
"There are still some subcontractors that have to come in and do their work," Williams said Monday.
Approximately 30 to 40 construction crew members are busy this week with concrete paving on the inner ring of the ramp roundabout at Interstate 90, as well as paving Armour Road between Minnesota 60 and the railroad tracks. Subcontractors are also doing curb and gutter and sidewalk work, and edge drains are being installed.
After that, Williams said striping, signage and additional grading work will need to be done before the road is opened.
Once it opens, traffic will be able to come into Worthington from the northeast to reach both the eastbound and westbound I-90 ramps, as well as businesses including JBS, Ron's Repair and the Travel Plaza, among numerous others.
The section to open includes both a roundabout and a major intersection that will ultimately feature a traffic signal at the intersection of Armour Road and Minnesota 60.
"The traffic signal will not be operational yet at Armour Road and Highway 60, but we will have a three-way stop there," Williams said.
Businesses in that area will be provided with revised maps to give to their vendors to ensure they are able to get through the construction zone, he added.
Williams said the detour routes will not change for Minnesota 60 travelers until the entire project is completed later this year.
Work continues to progress south of Armour Road, where crews are working to install storm sewer that connects into the main, 48-inch line that was completed last fall. The main line extends from near I-90 to the railroad bridge near Pro-Build.
"They're moving along fairly well with the benefit of this dry weather," Williams said, adding that storm sewer work has yet to be completed at the Minnesota 60/U.S. 59 roundabout, and grading also has yet to be done.
"We still hope to have everything done this year," he said.
Williams encourages travelers to be aware of changing traffic patterns, even though the section of highway to be opened won't have a great impact on the detour.
"It will impact the businesses -- it's mainly for their benefit -- and it will solve some of the trucking issues for the rest of the town and get them back to some normal traffic pattern," he said.
Armour Road will need to be closed again, later in the construction season, for approximately two weeks as the road is reconstructed.
"Be safe, pay attention to the signs and keep having some patience with us as we finish this major work in Worthington this year," Williams said. "When all is said and done, everything will be well worth it and there for decades to come."