Mar 27, 2013 at 3:14 pm
ST. CLOUD, Minn. (KNSI) - The snow is beginning to melt, and to most of us, that means road construction season is near.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation held their annual Road Construction Kickoff presentation this morning.
The talk included a local preview of some of the largest projects ramping up for central Minnesota, including an 8-mile resurfacing project on I-94 between St. Cloud and Clearwater, and the continuation of the Diverging Diamond Interchange project at Hwy. 15 and County Rd. 120.
I-94 RESURFACING PROJECT
The project's lead engineer, Dan Labo, says their resurfacing work is slated to begin on April 1st. That's when the eastbound part of the interstate will be reduced to a single lane, 24 hours a day, every day.
That portion of the work will last until Memorial Day weekend when the highway will open to two lanes.
The process will then be repeated on the westbound lanes through the July 4th weekend.
Labo says there will be some serious delays at times, so if you're traveling locally, you'd be wise to find alternate routes.
"We'd like to encourage everyone to use our website, www.511mn.org with links directly to the project website," Labo says. "You can view traffic cameras and get work zone travel times in real time up the corridor. And for locals, avoid the area altogether by using side roads."
Labo says the headache will be worth it when the work is completed.
"We're looking at a 40-50 year lifespan for the concrete surface being laid down. It's a long term fix instead of a maintenance process that will have to be repeated a few years from now," Labo says. "The pavement was originally constructed in the 1970s, so just like a car, the elements take their toll. This is a long term investment that will alleviate many construction concerns down the road."
The $16.4 million project will wrap sometime in July.
HWY. 15 DIVERGING DIAMOND INTERCHANGE PROJECT
Construction work on the diverging-diamond interchange at Highway 15 and Stearns County Road 120 is slated to begin in mid-April, weather permitting.
The project, which began last July, will begin with a 30-day intersection closure while crews work on sewer and water mains. Drivers will use temporary roads during this period.
Project manager Tim Paul says people will see something far different than what they're used to when the project is completed.
"They'll be driving across the bridge on the opposite side; opposing traffic will be on their right rather than their left," Paul says. "There will be a large pedestrian route in the center. There will also be a lot of colorful concrete and landscaping, which will happen next year. All in all, a very efficient and attractive intersection."
The $10 million project is expected to wrap up on October 21st.
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