Warmer weather on the horizon means one thing for Minnesota motorists -- construction season is upon us.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation, Olmsted County and the City of Rochester held a joint event on Thursday to give the public a glimpse into the projects for this spring and summer.
Here are a look at some of the biggest projects in the region.
The long awaited North Broadway Avenue and Elton Hills Drive bridge projects
The two projects, both of which have been years in the making, will require coordinating detours due to the close proximity of the projects.
"Like anything with construction, it's inconvenient, but we are going to do our best to reduce the inconveniences," said Rochester City Engineer Dillon Dombrovski.
The pavement on 10-block span of North Broadway Avenue is said to be in the worst condition of anything along Broadway. The pavement needs to be replace, and utilities and the overall streetscape needs to be brought into compliance with the City of Rochester's Complete Streets policy.
"We’ve had two lanes of the bridge closed now going on two years because of structural issues on the outer limits of the bridge," Dombrovski said of the Elton Hills Drive project. "It's been a critical project that unfortunately hasn’t had the funding before now."
A map of construction impacts is available online.
Projects on U.S. Highway 52 near and far
For drivers on U.S. Highway 52, a pair of projects are planned that could affect traffic flow from Zumbrota all the way to the Twin Cities.
Reconstruction of southbound lanes on Highway 52 north of Rochester is scheduled to begin this year and includes the replacement of two highway bridges and the installation of snow fencing and a new interchange in Hader. The $69.7 million project is scheduled to begin in July and be completed in 2022.
Work will also be done on Highway 52 north of Cannon Falls. That work begins April 19 and Mark Schoenfelder, MnDOT engineer for District 6, said traffic back ups are likely, especially during the weekends.
Safety improvements in Stewartville, other highways
Construction crews will be out on U.S. Highway 63 and Interstate 90 just north of Stewartville again this summer. The $15 million interchange improvement project includes the construction of new bridge, widening of lanes and new ramps.
“Travelers will really see the safety improvements when the construction is completed in August," Schoenfelder said.
Cable median barrier work will be done on I-90 from U.S. Highway 52 to U.S. Highway 42 as well as Minnesota Highway 14 from Byron to Rochester. Schoenfelder said these types of projects have a relatively low cost but have a "major safety benefit" in creating a barrier to limit vehicles crossing over into oncoming traffic.
Grading work to improve sightlines
In Olmsted County, a number of large grading projects are scheduled for this summer.
The first is on County Road 4 from County Road 5 north of Byron and goes to County Road 158, formerly known as County Road 3. The project is a full-regrade aimed at fixing some sight distance at County Road 3 due to a hill as well as a hill going into Oxbow Park.
The project includes work on County Road 105 to mitigate flood issues. The road will be moved about 500 feet to the west and be regraded so it is out of the floodplain.
"It seems like every year we are in there trying to fix the road," said Scott Holmes, Olmsted County transportation supervisor.
It could start in June and the road would be left unsurfaced gravel through the winter to let it settle, according to Holmes. The road would be surfaced the following spring.
A complete list of Olmsted County's road projects can be found on the county's website under the Roads and Transportation page.