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Along with summer comes construction

WORTHINGTON -- It has been said there are two seasons in Minnesota: winter and road construction.

More than 300 transportation projects will take place across the state this year, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is asking motorists to drive with caution in work zones and be patient, especially during peak travel times.

Be prepared, know the projects and prepare for possible detours, MnDOT advises.

MnDOT District 8 covers several counties, including Murray and Pipestone. Although a project is scheduled on U.S. 75 north to Minnesota 14 in Pipestone County, the bituminous mill and overlay, at an estimated cost of $1.4 million, isn't going to start until September.

Work on parts of U.S. 59 in Murray County, however, will begin in July, and detours are expected.

The project on U.S. 59 north from Slayton to Minnesota 30 includes bituminous mill and overlay, concrete mill and overlay and a regrade of the s-curves near the junction. The timeframe expected for the construction is from July to October, and the project is estimated to cost $4.8 million.

As a result of that road work, a detour from Slayton to eastbound Minnesota 30 is expected to run from U.S. 59 across Murray County 35 to the highway.

Construction on U.S. 59 will not stop at Minnesota 30, but rather will continue north to U.S. 14. Concrete rehabilitation will take place from July through October, and motorists travelling north on U.S 59 can expect to take a detour west on Minnesota 30 and north on Minnesota 91 until meeting up with U.S 14.

Minnesota 267 north from Iona to the Minnesota 30 junction is scheduled for an overlay in 2013.

MnDOT District 7 includes Rock, Nobles, Jackson and Cottonwood counties, which are also preparing for construction. On Interstate 90 from Luverne east to Magnolia, concrete repair and shoulder rehabilitation will restrict lanes and temporarily close wayside rests at an estimated cost of $4.7 million. Minnesota 62 from Fulda east to Windom is a road reclamation project scheduled to take place in 2013 at an estimated cost of $14 million.

The timeline for the Minnesota 60 project between Bigelow and Interstate 90 currently has a completion date of 2013, according to the MnDOT construction website.

Additional future plans for the four-lane expansion on Minnesota 60 include the Windom to St. James gap in 2013, the Mountain Lake segment in 2015 and the Windom area segment tentatively scheduled for 2016 to 2018. The cost of those segments is in the $60 to $77 million range.

According to MnDOT, some of the construction zones will operate day and night, and work zones may be moving or stationary. The zones are marked with orange cones or barrels, concrete barriers, traffic control devices or vehicles with flashers. Flaggers, surveyors and workers in bright yellow-green or orange vests are road crew members.

"Drive as if road workers' lives depend on you," one work zone safety slogan states. "They do."

Motorists are advised to obey posted speed limits, expect the unexpected, leave plenty of space between vehicles and avoid changing lanes unnecessarily. Avoid using cell phones and mobile devices in work zones.

Daily Globe Reporter Justine Wettschreck may be reached at 376-7322.