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Paynesville Press - April 21, 2010

Highway construction to start

By Michael Jacobson

Three-year project building highway bypass of Paynesville to start on Monday, April 26

Highway 23 construction is scheduled to start on Monday, April 26, in the Paynesville area and to last three construction seasons (2010, 2011, and 2012). According to the contract, the completion date is Aug. 31, 2012.

MnDOT District 8 (Willmar office) is building a four-lane bypass of Highway 23 around Paynesville, starting at the Kandiyohi/Stearns county line about three miles west of town and finishing a mile east of the city limits.

KGM Contractors Inc. of Angora is the contractor for the project, with a low bid of $32.57 million.

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Saturday, April 26, at 11:30 a.m. behind Paynesville Inn and Suites.

According to MnDOT, the project will improve mobility and safety for the traveling public along the Highway 23 interregional corridor and allow it to remain an important connection between Willmar and St. Cloud.

Last week, a two-hour open house was held on Tuesday, April 13, at Paynesyville City Hall, led by project manager Tom Kvas of KGM Contractors. KGM and MnDOT staff explained the project and the construction schedule.

In 2010, work will start with grading between First Street (Veterans Drive), a new street that will run between Paynesville Inn and Suites and Yarmon Ford. When finished, including a bridge over the new four-lane highway, this will replace Main Street (Cemetery Road) as a thru street going west of town. Work in 2010 will also include grading by the railroad tracks to 185th Street, building a new 185th Street, and removing the existing 185th Street when done. Bridges for First Street, over the railroad tracks, and a temporary bridge over the Crow River will also be built. Basically, grading will be done on the east and west ends and using the fill for the bridges in the middle, said MnDOT project engineer Paul Rasmussen. Since most of the work in 2010 occurs off the existing road alignment, "the traffic disruptions should be pretty minor at first."

There will be heavy truck traffic around these areas. In all, there will be eight bridges to build: one for Veteran's Drive (the new city street that will replace Cemetery Road leading out of town to the west when the project is done) over the new four-lane highway; two over the Crow River; two over Highway 55; two over the railroad tracks; and a flyover on the east end. The fly-over bridge will allow Highway 23 traffic coming into Paynesville from the east to exit the new highway without stopping. (MnDOT planned a bridge for Co. Rd. 33, but this was cut, replaced with an at-grade intersection.)

Building and connecting the flyover bridge will entail the only detour for the project (90 days in either late in 2011 or in 2012). During this work, traffic will be detoured from Paynesville to Roscoe using Co. Rd. 33, Co. Rd. 16, and Co. Rd. 10.

Map of project

Highway 23 Project Overview

MnDOT District 8 (Willmar office) plans to build a four-lane bypass of Highway23 around Paynesville. The project area includes from a few miles west of town (starting at the Kandiyohi/Stearns county line) to a mile east of town.

KGM Contractors of Angora has the contract for $32.2million.

Construction will take three seasons (2010, 2011, 2012). Construction will begin on Monday, April 26.

Groundbreaking Ceremony
MnDOT will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday, April 24, at 11:30 a.m. behind Paynesville Inn and Suites. A new city street (called First Street or Veterans Drive) will be built between Paynesville Inn and Suites and Yarmon Ford as part of the project.

Traffic Disruptions
In 2010, only temporary traffic disruptions are expected (possibly flagging and heavy truck traffic) as much of the work involves grading the new route off the existing highway. In 2011 or 2012,there will be up to a 90-day detour on the east end as a fly-over bridge is built and connected. During this detour, traffic will be rerouted from Paynesville heading east to Roscoe using Co. Rd. 33, Co. Rd. 16, and Co. Rd. 10.

2010 Construction
•Grade from First Street (Veterans Drive) to the Crow River, continuing to Highway 55. Dig of adjacent retention ponds,too.

•Grade from the railroad tracks to 185th Street and then from Co. Rd. 33 to Highway 55. Dig adjacent retention ponds,too.

•Build First Street bridge and roadway. Once this is complete, Main Street West (Cemetery Road) will be closed as a through street.

•Build temporary bridge over the Crow River for use during construction.

•Build new 185th Street. Then remove existing 185th Street.

•Construct Front Street.

•Close Co. Rd. 130, which will eventually be rebuilt on the west side of the new Highway 23.

•Start building railroad bridges, using fill from grading to Roseville Road.

•Pave the First Street (Veterans Drive) bridge. The Lake Koronis Recreation Trail going west will be closed until it reopens on this new bridge.

2011 Construction
•Grade from Roseville Road to the Stearns/Kandiyohi line, the west end of the project. Dig adjacent retention ponds.

•Finish grading for railroad bridges and then start grading from Co. Rd. 33 to the east end of the project. Dig adjacent retentionponds.

•Build the Highway 55 and Crow River bridges.

•Start concrete paving in July.

2012 Construction
•Construct Co. Rd. 33 and Highway 23 intersection.

•Construct fly-over bridge on east end of project, using 90-day detour. (Traffic will be detoured to Roscoe using Co. Rds. 33, 16, and 10.)

•Finish concrete paving.

•Complete the project (weather permitting) by Aug. 31, 2012.

Contact the author at editor@paynesvillepress.com   •   Return to Highway 23 page

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