U.S. 59 construction set to begin Monday
WORTHINGTON -- As sections of the Minnesota 60 construction project near completion, road work on U.S. 59 is slated to begin Monday and is anticipated to close a section of that road for two months.
The work will be done between Bioscience Drive and 27th Street -- a small section north of Interstate 90 -- to replace the existing pavement and culvert with a four-lane section with turn lanes and a new culvert.
"It's all to set up new intersections with Bioscience Drive so we can begin to extend the streets and utilities to the west," explained Dwayne Haffield, Worthington city engineer.
"There will be several projects in the future to continue the extension. This is just to get the ground work done so we can have an intersection there and begin utility extension.
"Coming out of this, we don't really end up with more than just the intersection," he added.
The replacement of the culvert makes the road closure "unavoidable," Haffield said. That area of road had not been scheduled for regular reconstruction this summer, and will be undertaken primarily to add the turn lanes.
"MnDOT (Minnesota Department of Transportation) would not allow us to add a street here without getting a left-turn lane," Haffield said.
During construction, southbound US 59 traffic will be detoured west at Nobles County 14, then south at Nobles County 7 and then to Nobles County 25 into Worthington. Due to the ongoing construction of Minnesota 60, northbound traffic will take Nobles County 10 to Oxford Street, and then Nobles County 25 to Nobles County 7, before turning east on Nobles County 14 and reconnecting with U.S. 59.
Prairie Justice Center, the Worthington Municipal Airport and local residences affected by the construction will be accessible by U.S. 59 southbound.
"(U.S.) 59 will be open from County Road 14 down to Prairie Justice Center and the airport," Haffield said. "So, if you are coming from Reading or Brewster, you might want to use 14 and drop down, which they might already be doing."
It is recommended that northbound visitors to Prairie Justice Center or the airport take the suggested detour, even though the construction can also be bypassed by taking Rowe Avenue to Paul Avenue north to 27th Street east (all township roads).
The project is scheduled to take 60 days and is expected to be complete in October.
To prepare for the construction -- and in anticipation of increased wear and tear due to the diverted traffic -- Haffield said Nobles County did an overlay on the county roads affected by the detour.
"So (Nobles County is) not asking for (financial) compensation, which they normally can when a trunk highway gets detoured," Haffield said.
In the future, Haffield anticipates adding turn lanes at the 27th Street intersection, but doesn't expect that construction will happen anytime soon.
"That's a long way off," Haffield said. "It depends on growth. Since it's already a street, we're not mandated to put those turn lanes in so it will be as traffic mandates."