By Charlie Warner
Argus News Editor
Summer is the time of year for baseball, golf, swimming, fishing, boating, picnics, vacations and…road construction.
In an effort to improve the roads in this corner of the state, Mn/DOT has been involved in a multi-year plan that when completed in 2013, all of the state highways in Houston and eastern Fillmore Counties will have a new, smooth surface.
The following projects planned for this construction season in the area will have an impact on Caledonia-area drivers.
• A bituminous mill and overlay of Highway 44 from the south edge of Caledonia to Hokah (which is approximately 13 miles) is scheduled to begin in July and expected to be completed by October.
In Caledonia, the project will also include the widening of the roadway through town to accommodate center turn lanes.
Traffic impacts for motorists will include daily lane closures with flaggers and pilot cars. A short term detour (about two weeks) will be in effect during culvert replacement in Section 31 of Union Township. The detour will be one mile on CSAH 20 and one mile on Plitzuweit Road.
The contract was let on March 23, 2012 with Mathy Construction the apparent low bidder. Construction estimate for this project is $7,477,346.
• A bridge project on Highway 76 between Caledonia and Houston in Section 9 of Sheldon Township between CSAH 10 and CSAH 4. The construction dates of the project, which will replace the bridge deck and railings over South Fork of Root River are from July to October.
Highway 76 will be closed to through traffic and detoured on State Highways 16 and 44.
The construction estimate for this project is $750,000.
• A bridge replacement project on Highway 43 in eastern Fillmore County near Choice. The project includes the replacement of the bridge and approach work over South Fork of Root River.
Highway 43 will be closed from Bratsberg to Fillmore County Road 12 beginning April 16 until mid-July. The detour will be Fillmore County Road 37, Fillmore County Road 10, Fillmore County Road 23 and Fillmore County Road 12.
The construction estimate was $1,007,813. Minnowa Construction Inc. will be conducting the work.
Last year a number of projects in the area came to a standstill, due to the three-week state shutdown. With this not being an appropriations year, there shouldn’t be any danger of a state shutdown this year.
You can contact Charlie Warner at [email protected]