Highway 78 work to start in late AugustPublished 11:18am Thursday, February 7, 2013
Significant detours are planned when the Minnesota Department of Transportation begins its overlay and culvert replacement project on Highway 78 late this summer.
Slated to begin in early August, the two- to three-month project will involve two stages. The first is removing the top three inches of old road surface, and replacing it with new asphalt, as well as replacing numerous culverts and constructing new right turn and bypass lanes, according to Seth Yliniemi, Project Engineer/Manager for MnDOT.
Stage 2 of the project will be a complete reconstruction of several blocks in downtown Battle Lake, which is scheduled to start in late August, and will also include detours for local traffic, Yliniemi said.
“One of the reasons for starting later in the summer is to try to accommodate the tourist season that passes through the community,” said Yliniemi.
The precise start date is unknown until a contractor is chosen. Bids will be let April 26.
Because detour routes will be on county roads that have narrow shoulders, County Highway Engineer Rick West urges drivers to be cautious.
“You may find slower traffic on some county roads,” he said. “We encourage people to use safe driving habits on whatever type of highway you’re on.”
Prep work for the project could begin in early August, with the stage 1 detour slated to begin Aug. 12. The detour will be from the south State Highway 108 in Ottertail east to Otter Tail County 52 east to Otter Tail County 67 north to US Highway 10 west to Perham, an additional 16 miles. The road will be closed for approximately two weeks as road crews replace culverts.
Once the work is completed and the detours are removed, the paving project will commence, and the road will be open with the use of flaggers and pilot vehicles, Yliniemi said.
The stage 2 detour will begin once stage I detours are removed, sometime around Aug. 26. The second detour will run from the south State Highway 210 east to State Hwy 108 in Henning north to Ottertail. The detour route adds 14 miles.
The second stage will continue potentially into late October, according to Yliniemi. The paving part of the project will continue through stage 2.
During both stages, local traffic will be allowed through the work zones, with residential and business access remaining open at all times., Yliniemi said.
Local traffic in Battle Lake will also be detoured during stage 2 as reconstruction progresses with alternate accesses being provided to the businesses, he said.
“To limit the impact (of the project for residents and businesses) there is an incentive to the contractor for each day the project is completed early,” Yliniemi said.