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Paynesville Press - November 26, 2003

Four-lane Highway 23 opens in Richmond

By Michael Jacobson

Crews switched Highway 23 traffic onto the newly constructed westbound roadway last week from just west of Cold Spring to approximately a half-mile west of the Sauk River bridge in Richmond, reported the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT).

Two-way traffic will be single lane in each direction for the duration of the winter.

According to Mickey Klasen, MnDOT project manager, crews will remove two temporary bypasses used during the construction season and complete the installation of culverts for the new eastbound Highway 23 if weather permits. In addition, a new four-cable wire rope guardrail will be installed east of Cold Spring in the median.

In Richmond, the roadway opened to four lanes of traffic last week. The final layer of bituminous (blacktop) will be paved on this stretch during the 2004 construction season.

During the 2003 season, the Highway 23 project focused on constructing the new westbound roadway; widening the bridge over the Sauk River just west of the junction with Highway 22; storm sewer work; and grading for new frontage roads in Richmond and Cold Spring.

This winter, crews will relocate the utilities in the city of Cold Spring, in advance of next year's construction in Cold Spring.

In 2004, MnDOT will complete the final stage of the Highway 23 project, which is widening the road to four lanes from I-94 to Richmond.

Work in 2004 will include the replacement of the Sauk River bridge in Cold Spring and construction along the business corridor in Cold Spring. The work is expected to begin in early April and will require a detour through Cold Spring.

During the work on Highway 23 in 2004, westbound traffic will be detoured through downtown Cold Spring, using Main Street and Co. Rd. 2. Eastbound traffic will be detoured through downtown Cold Spring using Third Avenue North and Main Street.

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