Five-year construction plan includes road overlays, bridge replacements

WORTHINGTON -- The next couple of construction seasons are anticipated to be busy for the Nobles County Public Works Department with plans to replace several bridges and overlay dozens of miles on the county state aid highway system.

WORTHINGTON - The next couple of construction seasons are anticipated to be busy for the Nobles County Public Works Department with plans to replace several bridges and overlay dozens of miles on the county state aid highway system.

During a presentation of the five-year road improvement program to Nobles County commissioners Tuesday afternoon, Public Works Director Stephen Schnieder explained that three projects slated to be done this year will be carried into 2016, including reconstruction and overlay of CSAH 39 in Dundee and two bridge replacements in other parts of the county.
Schnieder said difficulty in obtaining easements from some property owners led to some of the delays in completing the work this year.
The three carryover projects will be added to the list of four bituminous overlay projects already planned for 2016. The work includes overlays on CSAH 13 from the Iowa line to CSAH 35, CSAH 6 from CSAH 13 to CSAH 4; CSAH 15 from CSAH 16 to the Murray County line; and CSAH 16 from Minnesota 91 to CSAH 34. Combined, the projects total more than $8.15 million.
“Most of what we have (scheduled for overlay) should have been overlaid five years ago,” Schnieder said. “With some additional funding, we might be able to move some things up.”
Schnieder told commissioners the plan provides them with something to think about, and projects can move up or back on the list if needed.
Nobles County Administrator Tom Johnson remarked that the potential for a roundabout at the intersection of Oxford Street and Diagonal Road wasn’t in the five-year plan.
“I thought there was a really positive response to a roundabout at Oxford and Diagonal,” Johnson said.
Schnieder said it could be added to the list.
“We can certainly prioritize it if you want us to work on it,” he said, adding that a roundabout would make the intersection safer and smoother for traffic flow.
With the Worthington School District discussing a potential new high school - which could end up on the west side of town - Schnieder said there will be more traffic congestion at that intersection.
If a roundabout is added to the list, Schnieder said the public works department would also want to replace the culvert, which is now eligible for state bonding money.
“We’ve got a lot of projects on the calendar now for five years,” said Commissioner Marv Zylstra. “If the high school is built, maybe that moves (the roundabout project) up.”
No action was needed on the plan, but it will continue to be discussed at future meetings.
Also on Tuesday, the board:

  • Approved the designation of the former Minnesota 60 highway on the south side of Worthington, from Nobles County 57 east to the new four-lane highway - as well as a portion of Nobles County 57 between the former highway and the new four-lane highway - as a county state aid highway. The roadways will become CSAH 25, while the old Highway 60 that stretches from Nobles County 57 to Flower Lane will become a city street.
  • Approved sponsoring the city of Adrian’s application for a Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) grant to complete a sidewalk project to improve active living in the community, and approved a resolution committing to maintaining the sidewalk project through its useful life.
  • Approved extension of a contract for legal services between the Nobles County Attorney’s Office and Travis Smith and Kayla Johnson. Smith and Johnson will continue to provide prosecution services on an independent contractor basis, primarily for misdemeanor cases.
  • Endorsed a resolution from the Association of Minnesota Counties for a revised County Program Aid formula.
  • Approved extension of a legal services contract with Kayla Johnson for 2016 to assist with Child In Need of Protective Services (CHIPS) cases.
  • Amended the Nobles County Administrator’s employment agreement, changing the annual review date to the anniversary date, and to update the changes to the county pay plan.
  • Presented the November Excellence in Performance award to Nobles County Library staff members Myra Palmer, Laurie Ebbers, Jackie Van Horsen, Denise Reith, Nancy Flynn and Roxanna Castillo.
  • Appointed Matt Widboom as an alternate to the Buffalo Ridge Regional Rail Authority. Commissioners Gene Metz and Zylstra are delegates.
Julie Buntjer became editor of The Globe in July 2021, after working as a beat reporter at the Worthington newspaper since December 2003. She has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism from South Dakota State University.
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