Mn/DOT kicks off 2009 construction season

Thursday, April 9th, 2009 at 5:58 am

ST. CLOUD, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Transportation unveiled its 2009 construction program of 223 state highway and bridge projects, Wednesday, with a combined construction cost of $1.4 billion.

“Over the last six years we’ve moved forward with more highway construction than in any other comparable period in Minnesota’s history,” Governor Tim Pawlenty said. “People sometimes say Minnesota has two seasons – winter and road construction. This past winter was pretty intense and this upcoming construction season will be, too. Our aim is to move people and goods faster, better and safer throughout Minnesota.”

Some project highlights in west central Minnesota include:

●       Resurfacing Highway 95  from Cambridge to the Isanti/Chisago County line (construction cost: $2.6 million)

●       Resurfacing Highway 10 between Wadena and Motley (construction cost: $6.8 million)
●       Rebuilding the Highway 23 DeSoto Bridge in St. Cloud (construction cost: $19.2 million)
●       Reconstructing Highway 23 in St. Cloud from Washington Memorial Drive to 4th Avenue (construction cost: $13 million)
●       Resurfacing Highway 169 between Princeton and Milaca (construction cost: $3.9 million)
●       Concrete rehabilitation project on Interstate 94 from Clearwater to Monticello (construction cost: $5.5 million)

Of the 32 projects in west central Minnesota, 14 are funded with federal stimulus dollars and were previously announced by Governor Pawlenty and Transportation Commissioner Tom Sorel in February.

“Mn/DOT is committed to mobilizing our workers, our contractors and our partners to ensure that Minnesota’s transportation dollars are spent efficiently and effectively,” said Transportation Commissioner Tom Sorel. “In addition to road and bridge projects, we will increase maintenance on state roads to improve existing highway infrastructure.”

For a complete list of west central Minnesota projects, including construction dates and traffic impacts, visit the Web site at www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/construct.html.  To view the complete list of projects for the state of Minnesota, visit www.mndot.gov. Finally, for information on transportation and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, visit www.dot.state.mn.us/federalrecovery.

Sorel said that while the prospects of infrastructure improvements and job creation are exciting, the driving public should be cautious on the roadways during this busy time.

“We ask motorists to pay attention and follow the posted speeds, as work zones will be a common sight on our highways this season,” said Sorel.

During construction and road maintenance project work, Mn/DOT and the Minnesota State Patrol urge drivers to:

●       Stay alert
●       Watch for signs, equipment and workers
●       Minimize distractions such as using cell phones, eating or drinking
●       Avoid tailgating
●       Follow posted speed limits; fines double in work zones
●       Stay in one lane while driving through a work zone

As construction season progresses, call 511 or log on to www.511mn.org for the latest statewide road and traffic conditions.

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