By Derrick Knutson—
The adage “There’s three seasons in Minnesota: winter is coming, winter and road construction” might be overused, but Minnesotans know the saying has a ring of truth to it.
And across Chisago County there will be plenty of road construction this season.
Chisago County Highway Engineer Joe Triplett gave the Post Review the rundown on the specifics of the projects and how long they will take.
Some of them are MnDOT led and the others are county projects.
Triplett estimated over $30 million in road construction will take place across the county this year.
Two road construction projects will take place on Highway 8, one of which is already underway. Safety improvements and turn lanes are being constructed in Lindstrom, and portions of the road are being widened. The brunt of that project should be done by November.
The second project slated for Highway 8 will run from Center City to Hwy. 95. Triplett said construction should start by mid-June and end sometime in September.
Residents in North Branch worrying that they won’t be able to get through downtown this summer because of construction can put those fears to rest because Triplett said the intersection of Highway 95 and County Highway 30 (Highway 61 to the lifelong residents) will be passable when projects commence in early June.
Improvements to address the poor drainage in the area and signal upgrades will be made along with other construction.
Triplett said construction should be finished on that project in mid-to-late August.
County Road 30
Rush City is pretty ripped up as of late, but construction crews are moving right along on this extensive project.
Triplett said utilities have been put in up to Irving Avenue. He estimated the reconstruction should be done before the County Fair starts July 12.
“It’s a big, complicated project with all of the sewer and water, but the contractor is doing really, really well,” Triplett said. “It’s just a lot to do. So far, so good.”
The City of Wyoming will be partnering with MnDOT this summer to address the intersection of Highway 61 and 250th Street.
Left and right turn lanes will be built near Maranatha Church, along with a bypass lane.
“The intersection will be completely rebuilt,” Triplett said.
The project hasn’t gone through the MnDOT approval process yet, but Triplett said it should start in July or August.
He noted a detour would be set up with this project.
Bridges on Kost Dam Road, County Road 81 and County Road 57 will be completely replaced this year. Construction on the Kost Dam Bridge should start in mid-July, and the other bridges will be done in August, September or October.
Triplett said bridge replacements, compared to road reconstruction, are less time-consuming projects.
He noted the county plans to be done with all of its projects by Labor Day and the last of the MnDOT projects should be finished by November.
“It’s going to be a real hectic year and there will be some frustrations, but patience is going to pay off,” he said. “We’re going to have a real nice system here.”
For updates on road construction in the county through the spring, summer and fall, visit the Chisago County website.