Starting Monday, June 5, road construction will begin on Highway 34, between County Road 29 east of Detroit Lakes to County Road 26/47 west of Osage, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Local traffic will encounter daily lane closures, potential short-term local detours, flaggers and pilot cars on Highway 34. Motorists should expect delays in the work zone.

Thru-traffic will be detoured to County Road 47, Highway 87 and County Road 29. If your destination does not fall within the project limits, motorists must use the detour or find an alternate route. From one end of the project to the other, the detour could add 20 extra miles to a drive; however, work zone delays on Highway 34 will also impact travel time. Please plan accordingly.

This year, MnDOT will be completing a 21-mile resurfacing project on Highway 34, from County Road 29 (four corners) to County Road 26/47 (old Highway 225). In addition to the resurfacing, crews will replace culverts as well as the bridge over the Shell River.

Construction staging

Toad Lake is located at approximately the center of the project. Crews will start by replacing entrance pipes and centerline culverts at the intersection of County Road 29 and Highway 34, working east to Toad Lake. Once culverts in that section are complete, they’ll work on culverts east of Toad Lake, working east. Each culvert replacement is anticipated to take approximately one to three days, this will vary depending on location. Please obey traffic control and follow the instructions on the message boards.

Paving is expected to start in early August, with operations moving approximately 5 miles per week.

The bridge/box culvert replacement at the Shell River is tentatively scheduled for August, and will take about five weeks to complete. All schedules and work plans are subject to change at any time based on weather, contractor schedules or other unforeseen circumstances or issues.

Residential, business and local access

Throughout the duration of construction, driveway and entrance access will be maintained at all times. For those who have a destination north or south of Highway 34, they may still use Highway 34 to get to their road. All local traffic should anticipate long delays and periodic stops in the areas where crews are working. It is advised to use an alternate route or the detour if they can. Portions of Highway 34 will be impassable at times during culvert work and the bridge replacement.

For more information about the project and to sign up for project email updates, visit the project website at Central Specialties, Inc., based in Alexandria, Minn., is the prime contractor for the $15.7 million project.

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