MnDOT hosts Highway 15 open house

Staff photo by Fritz Busch

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and Bolton & Menk, Inc. host a Highway 15 Resurfacing Project open house at City Hall Wednesday afternoon.

Staff photo by Fritz Busch The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and Bolton & Menk, Inc. host a Highway 15 Resurfacing Project open house at City Hall Wednesday afternoon.

NEW ULM — Dozens of people attended a 2017 Highway 15 resurfacing open house at City Hall Wednesday.

Bids for the $7.7 million project will be let Feb. 24. Construction is scheduled for mid-May through mid-October, according to project engineers.

Project purposes and needs include deteriorating Highway 15 pavement, the addition of center, two-way left-turn lanes between Bridge and Cottonwood Streets at the south edge of town and repair and resurfacing of bridges just south of Bridge Street and just north of Searles.

In addition, the project will address the lack of pedestrian ramp compliance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), modify and upgrade traffic signals, repair subsurface stormwater systems and replace guard rail.

Highway 15 will be milled and overlaid from 7th North Street south to 170th Street, south of Searles. Traffic signal modifications and upgrades will be made at 3rd North, Center, 10th and 20th South Streets.

Business and residential access will be maintained at all times during construction. Detour routes will be on Highway 14 from 7th North to 20th South; Center Street to CSAH 13 and County Road 25 to TH 15; and from CR 25 to 150th Avenue to CR 24 to TH 15 south of Searles.

Engineers said the two bridges on Highway 15 south of New Ulm will be closed for about six weeks. They did not know if they will be closed in tandem or not.

“The project should especially help improve Highway 15 safety, adding two-way left turn lanes between Cottonwood and Bridge Streets, where there have been crashes,” said Bolton & Menk Principal Transportation Engineer Aaron Warford.

“There will be curb and sidewalk work where it is needed too,” Warford said. “New push-button traffic countdown devices will be added at 20th South Street crossings.”

Vern Kitzberger of New Ulm, who lives on Shag Road near Highway 15, said he’d like to see improved signage on Highway 15 near Shag Road.

“It’s a terrible intersection,” Kitzberger said. “I don’t know if they’ll do anything to improve it.”

MnDOT District 7 Senior Engineer Forest Hasty said the current project did not include improving the TH 15/Shag Road intersection.

“There is a guard rail and steep slopes on both sides of the highway,” Hasty said. “It would cost a lot of money to make room for a new intersection.”

Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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