With a few inches of snow still on the ground and temperatures a degree either side of freezing, it hardly seems like road construction season.
Yet, the Minnesota Department of Transportation Monday is starting work on the $17.3 million makeover of the Hwy. 36 and English Street intersection The first order of business is building retaining walls.
The project calls for the traffic signal to be removed and replaced with a diamond interchange designed to improve traffic flow. The project also will involved upgrades to several nearby roads and replacing the Bruce Vento Trail pedestrian and bicycle bridge.
Access to Hwy. 36 at Hazelwood and Atlantic Streets will be closed permanently.
As part of the project, Hwy. 36 will be closed for up to 75 days between Hwy. 61 and White Bear Avenue. MnDOT's contract with Forest Lake Contracting says the company can close the segment for "a maximum of 75 days, so it's likely it will aim to close the roadway as early as they can to utilize all 75 days," said MnDOT spokeswoman Cara Chandler.
With that, Chandler says that will likely take place in mid- to late-June.
"We'd like Hwy. 36 to be back open by late August," she said.
Here is the construction schedule according to MnDOT:
- March- June: Highway 36 retaining wall construction
- April- May: County Road B and Frontage Road will be constructed
- April- mid-June: Bruce Vento Trail bridge will be constructed and realigned. There will be a short-term closure of the trail as the new bridge is aligned
- May- mid-June: County Road B Trail will be constructed
Phase 2 & Phase 3
- Mid-June- late-August: Highway 36 will be closed as Highway 36 and ramps at Hwy 61 and English are constructed
- Late-June- late-August: English Street between Cope Avenue and Gervais Avenue will be closed as the road is constructed
- Late-August- late-November: Completion of any remaining work