MnDOT to repave Highway 57 through Mantorville in 2024
The project will go from the bridge over the Zumbro River to Ninth Street.
MANTORVILLE — The repaving of Minnesota Highway 57 through Mantorville has been a long time coming.
In 2024, the wait will be done.
Representatives of the Minnesota Department of Transportation and engineering firm WHKS hosted an open house Thursday at the Mantorville Fire Hall to explain the scope and some details of the upcoming road repaving and reconstruction project.
The project should cost about $3.1 million, said project manager Tim Hruska of WHKS. City funds — $1 million — will cover the cost of sewer and water upgrades under the highway.
Hruska said the project will take place in four sections. The first section will begin on the north side of the bridge spanning the Zumbro River and continue to Fourth Street.
One of the big changes in that section, Hruska said, would be to reduce the size of the driveway at Casey's from about 200 feet wide to closer to 50 feet or less. The section, like others, would also add sidewalks to the west side of Highway 57.
In fact, sidewalks and grass strips between the curb and sidewalks are a consistent feature in the project.
The second section, from Fourth to Sixth streets, would see the roadway narrow to 11 feet to accommodate the sidewalks, and would include 4-foot bump out curbs at all four corners of Fifth Street. The bump outs are designed to give pedestrians a shorter path for crossing the busy street.
One concern for engineers, Hruska said, is ensuring that buses and semi tractor-trailers can still navigate Fifth Street with the bump outs.
Another concern is keeping the parking spaces along Main Street/Highway 57 where so many businesses are located.
While Hruska said the third section – from Sixth to Seventh streets – is fairly straightforward, the section from Seventh Street to the end of the project at Ninth Street will eliminate parking on the west side of the road to accommodate space for the sidewalks and grassy boulevards.
The bump outs and narrowing of the lanes to 11 feet are designed to give drivers a feeling of being pinched in, Hruska said, to encourage them to slow down as they enter the city, especially from the north as they head downhill into town.
The slope of the hill and matching the level of the sidewalk to existing doorways is another difficult aspect of the project, he said.
Finally, Hruska said his firm and MnDOT understand that because the entrances and exits to and from the city are limited when Highway 57 is taken out of the equation, he knows that residents and businesses will be impacted by the construction project.
"I'm not going to sit here and tell you it's going to be pleasant," Hruska said, addressing a crowd of about 20 people. "Because it won't."
Contact regional reporter Brian Todd at email@example.com.