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Highway projects announced

By Jeffrey Pieters

jpieters@postbulletin.com

An estimated $115 million will be spent this year on 19 highway projects in southeastern Minnesota, the Department of Transportation announced Tuesday.

Foremost among projects in this region is the reconstruction of U.S. 52 in Rochester, which will account for $70 million this year.

In addition, major projects are planned in Northfield, on Interstate 35 in rural Rice County, on U.S. 52 in Fillmore County, and on Minnesota Highway 42 in Wabasha County.

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State highway projects this year total more than $1 billion, a figure that includes multiyear projects. In this region, the total cost of ongoing projects is $293 million.

The reconstruction of U.S. 52, which bears an overall $232 million price tag, is the state's largest-ever one-time highway project outlay.

Four other carry-over projects are on the books this year for the region.

Those include a $17.5 million interchange project on U.S. 63 south in Rochester; an $11.4 million project widening and adding traffic signals on Minnesota Highway 58 in Goodhue County; a $400,000 guardrail project on three regional highways, including a stretch of I-90 between Dexter and Austin; and $163,000 for resurfacing Minnesota Highway 43 near Winona.

The largest area project being introduced this year, in Fillmore County, calls for $11.5 million to grade, surface and light U.S. 52 between Preston and Fountain. The project is scheduled to start in September, with the heaviest work and delays scheduled for next year.

Major delays are foreseen this year on a resurfacing and bridge replacement project on I-35 in Rice County. The $8.4 million project will run from May to October, causing major delays during peak travel periods, MnDOT reported. The project area is between Minnesota Highway 19, near Northfield, and Scott County Road 2, near Elko.

In Wabasha County, a project resurfacing Highway 42 between Plainview and Kellogg will cause detours for two months. The $2.8 million project begins in July. The detour will follow County Roads 4 and 18.

A project in Goodhue County, on Minnesota Highway 57 in Wanamingo, also will produce a detour. The $1.85 million project calls for replacing a bridge, installing storm sewer and lights, and grading and surfacing one mile of roadway starting at Minnesota Highway 60 and running one mile north.

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A full list and additional details on highway projects is available at www.dot.state.mn.us/construction.html.

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