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Paynesville Press - November 27, 2002

MnDOT may open four-lane Highway 23

In response to safety concerns raised by local city officials and the Rockville business community, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is pursuing options to open traffic on an approximate six-mile segment of the new Highway 23 between I-94 and Cold Spring this fall.

Last week, MnDOT announced that the opening of the other two lanes and the road as a four-lane highway would wait until spring, due to weather delays.

"Although we're up against the forces of nature, the safety of the traveling public is a top priority," said Bob Busch, District 3 Transportation Engineer. "I understand the concerns of the local community and have directed my staff and the contractor to take an aggressive approach to get as much of the newly constructed four-lane section open to traffic."

Weather permitting, a new crossover just east of Cold Spring will be constructed in the next week. The crossover work, along with construction of turn lanes and striping of the pavement, would permit MnDOT to open 6.2 miles of four-lane divided highway this fall.

The remaining work on the project will be completed in the spring of 2003.

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