Ames Construction of Burnsville has landed the contract for the biggest road construction project in Dakota County next year.

Ames submitted the winning bid of $27.5 million for the two-year rebuilding of the Hwy. 13 and County Road 5 interchange, beating out the state's two other construction giants -- C.S. McCrossan of Maple Grove and Shafer Contracting Co. of Shafer.

The interchange, controlled by a traffic light, carries more than 70,000 vehicles a day. The signal jams up traffic in both directions and the intersection ranks close to the top in the state for crashes.

To get traffic flowing more smoothly and safely, the plan is to separate the roads by lowering Hwy. 13 by 22 feet and building a bridge to take County Road 5 over the highway, said Dakota County project manager John Sass.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation, the city of Burnsville and the county are working together on the project. MnDOT prepared more than 800 pages of construction design and directions for the job.

The work will begin in the spring on the Hwy. 13 frontage roads, utilities and County Road 5. This first phase will be completed by November of next year.

The second year of the work in 2014 will bring major traffic changes.

County Road 5 will be closed at Hwy. 13, forcing cross traffic to find other ways to enter or cross Hwy. 13.

Hwy. 13 traffic will be reduced to one lane in either direction, but the traffic signal at County Road 5 will be removed in an effort to keep traffic moving through the construction, Sass said.

Ramps to and from Interstate Hwy. 35W will be closed twice for 30 days.

The project is expected to be finished and open to traffic by October 2014, with cleanup and landscaping planned for June 2015.

When finished, Hwy. 13 will have three lanes going east from the bridge and two lanes going west from the bridge.

The County Road 5 bridge over the highway will have three lanes southbound, including a left-turn lane onto east Hwy. 13, and two lanes northbound, including a 12-foot trail for bikes and pedestrians.

Laurie Blake • 952-746-3287