Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Lois E. Johnson
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Major roadwork to begin soon

 

April 27, 2017

Minnesota Department of Transportation

Information on the roundabout to be built at the intersection of County Road 10 and Highway 73 (pictured above) and more on the upcoming project can be found at www.mndot.gov/d1/projects/Moose-Lake-Area-Project.

Moose Lake's long-awaited major road construction project will take place this construction season. The project calls for a new road surface from the city to the north and south freeway entrances, and up Soo Hill to the city limits. All are state Highway 27 and 73.

Included in that major project is another major project, that of creating a roundabout at the intersection of Highway 73 and County Road 10.

"It will be the first roundabout in Carlton County," said Carlton County Sheriff Kelly Lake at a recent meeting.

The project will begin on May 15, said Project Supervisor Jim Sorenson of the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) in a recent interview. Northland Constructors of Duluth won the bid for the project, with the bid of $7,126,027.50.

The first segment of the project will take place on the south portion, from the Moose Horn River bridge to the freeway on Highway 73. Included in that segment is work on the roundabout at the County Road 10 intersection.

"We are going to build a bypass for traffic as we build the roundabout," said Sorenson. "But we encourage all of the local people to use alternate routes and avoid that area. That will reduce the amount of traffic through that area."

The second segment will cause the most disruption. The intersection at Highway 27/73, where the two highways split at the signal lights near First National Bank, will be completely closed for two weeks, said Sorenson.

"We will detour traffic on Industrial Road," he said. "Trucks will be able to make those sharp turns but it will be challenging. That will start May 31 and run through June 15.

"The intersection won't be completely done by June 15. There will be no signal lights and it will have one layer of blacktop. It takes time to build new signal lights. Those will be installed later. Stop signs will be used for a four-way stop. More layers of blacktop will be added later."

Work will begin on West Road, or Highway 27/73, up Soo Hill after June 15, according to a plan Sorenson had presented.

"There will be two-way traffic throughout the project," said Sorenson. "All businesses will be open. Many of the businesses have two driveways and that will enable customers to get to the business when we are working on another driveway."

Traffic increases during holidays.

Sorenson said the construction will shut down on the Fourth of July, which is on a Tuesday this year, and possibly on Monday, July 3.

Segments of the project to be completed in August and September are the north end of Arrowhead Lane, or Highway 27, up to County Road 61, and the segment between the signal lights in the center of town to the south bridge over the Moose Horn River.

Sorenson said a center lane will be created on Arrowhead Lane, as it has been. All sidewalks will be widened and handicap accessible, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

"They will be nice and more comfortable to walk on," he said.

When the roundabout is completed, pedestrians will be able to cross one lane at a time. Crosswalks will be painted near the roundabout.

The highway surfaces on the remainder of the routes to the north and south freeway access will be milled and overlaid, said Sorenson.

"We don't know when yet," he added. "The contractor picks a time that works for them. People will probably have to drive on gravel for 15 days."

City Administrator Tim Peterson said there is no major utility work that has to be completed during the project, other than replacing the storm sewer.

"We are going to make adjustments and corrections as needed," he said. "The system as a whole is good. Conduit will be installed for electrical wire and fiber optic lines. The manholes will be corrected and raised or lowered as needed."

Peterson said anyone with concerns will be able to come to weekly meetings.

"We will have construction meetings at the city hall conference room each Tuesday from 1 to 2 p.m.," he said. "We will be talking about the upcoming schedule. Anyone can come and talk to us."

Moose Lake Mayor Ted Shaw asked people to have patience during the project.

Peterson said the city also has two street construction projects scheduled for this construction season.

Third Street, between Arrowhead Lane and Elm Avenue, will be repaved this summer.

And the other project is Kenwood Avenue, from County Road 61, past the Augustana Health Care Center and on to the end of the paved street.

"There is a low area that floods," explained Mayor Shaw. "That portion will be raised during the project."

Peterson explained the city has received $750,000 in state aid for the $1.5 million projects. The funds had originally been designated for Earl Ellens Drive near Riverside Arena, but those funds have been redirected to the Third Street and Kenwood Avenue projects.

"Paving Earl Ellens Drive was not a good use of the funds," said Peterson. "We worked with the state and lowered the number of projects from three to two. That's a rather big win for the city of Moose Lake. The city has to match $250,000."

The MnDOT project will be completed in October, said Sorenson.

 

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