Highway 34 project between Detroit Lakes, Osage takes shape

More than 200 construction projects that will help maintain Minnesota’s roads, bridges and transportation infrastructure; improve safety and mobility; and support jobs will be worked on across the state this year, the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced Wednesday, April 12.

Planned construction projects include 171 road and bridge projects, plus 52 projects that will improve airports, water ports, railroad crossings and transit infrastructure.

Highlighted projects for west central Minnesota:

• Reconstructing Highway 9 in Barnesville, including resurfacing, replacing underground city utilities, new trail and pedestrian accessibility improvements.

• Resurfacing 21 miles of Highway 34 between Detroit Lakes and Osage, including replacing the bridge/box culvert at the Shell River and other culvert work to improve ride quality, highway safety and drainage.

• Improving the I-94 and Highway 27 interchange near Alexandria, including constructing roundabouts at both the westbound and eastbound ramps to improve mobility and traffic flow.  

• Concrete resurfacing of westbound I-94 near Highway 114, west of Alexandria, for a smoother, longer-lasting road surface.    

“After a long winter with record-setting snowfalls, MnDOT joins many Minnesotans in welcoming the arrival of spring,” said Commissioner Nancy Daubenberger. “Warmer weather also means drivers can expect to see more orange cones and work zones around the state, as well as more people working on and around highway projects. MnDOT has a robust construction program planned this year, and we need motorists’ help to keep everyone safe: obey speed limits and slow down in work zones, put away cell phones and other distractions, be patient, and plan ahead for detours.”

The 2023 state construction program remains largely unchanged by the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Although Congress passed that federal appropriation bill in March 2022, authority for MnDOT to spend the additional dollars was only approved by the Minnesota Legislature in February 2023. The agency expects the size of construction programs in 2024 and future years to be larger with the additional federal funds provided by the IIJA. 

For an overview of the 2023 state construction program, including interactive maps and full project lists, visit mndot.gov/construction. Individual project pages include information about construction schedules, detours and traffic impacts, maps, benefits and project costs.

Minnesotans also can stay informed about projects and other transportation topics by visiting mndot.gov,  signing up to receive email updates for specific topics or projects, and following MnDOT on social media.

Other significant projects statewide:

• Improving Highway 52 between the Twin Cities Area and Rochester:  Continuing a multi-year project on Highway 52 between Rosemount and Hampton, including resurfacing concrete, repairing and updating bridges, and installing cable median barrier; and entering the final year of a three-year project on Highway 52 between Zumbrota and Cannon Falls that includes reconstructing southbound lanes, replacing bridges, improving safety by closing specific accesses, building a noise wall and installing permanent snow fence.

• Continuing a multi-year project on Highway 10 in Anoka, including replacing and repairing bridges to improve traffic flow, safety and provide better pedestrian and bicycle access.

• Continuing multi-year freeway construction of Highway 169 in Elk River, including four new interchanges that will improve traffic flow, increase capacity and improve motorist and pedestrian safety.

• Entering final year of the project to expand Highway 14 between New Ulm and Nicollet from two lanes to four lanes, and complete a continuous four-lane road between New Ulm and Rochester.

• Continuing work on the multi-year Twin Ports Interchange project in Duluth to enhance safety by eliminating blind merges and left exits, replacing aging infrastructure and improving freight mobility.

• Redecking and repairing the I-35 Atkinson Bridge over Carlton County Road 61.

• Resurfacing Highway 59 south of Thief River Falls, including culvert replacements, shoulder widening and a roundabout at the intersection of Highway 59 with Pennington County Road 3 to provide a smoother ride, improve drainage and a safer intersection.

• Beginning a two-year reconstruction of the Highway 10/ 23 interchange area in east St. Cloud, including the road surface, bridges, drainage structures, pedestrian and motorist access.

• Beginning a two-year I-35 at Faribault project that will resurface 4.6 miles of the interstate and make other improvements.

• Beginning a two-year Corridors of Commerce project to expand Highway 23 from New London to Paynesville to four lanes.