Brown County Browser: Keep it safe in road construction zones

August is here and the road construction season is half over. Contractors are making progress on the County surface rehabilitation projects this year. The first step of recycling 18 miles of existing road surface is done. This step eliminates the cracks in the old road from reflecting through the new overlay allowing it to last longer. The Paving Contractor will move in soon and begin overlaying these recycled roads. After gravel shoulders and edge line rumbles are installed, the road will be striped and opened to traffic. The horizontal curve on County Roads 6 & 13 southwest of Hanska that was graded last year will be paved with the overlays. Two roads in Springfield will be worked on in August. County Road 5 (East End Avenue) and County Road 4 (Range Road) will be mill and overlay projects with some curb corrections done on County Road 5. Two small bridges will be replaced with large concrete box culverts in August. One bridge is in Prairieville Township on 250th Street and the other is on County Road 20 north of Hanska. Lastly, the County is collaborating with MnDOT using federal safety funds to construct a roundabout at State Highway 4 and County Road 29. The Contractor has started work on the project which is intended to eliminate the tragic crashes that have occurred at this intersection in the past.

The Brown County Highway Department maintenance crews have been mowing, weed spraying, crack sealing, seal coating, patching and graveling the county roads between all the rains we have been getting. Several roads had to be closed for a short time because of high water on the Minnesota and Cottonwood Rivers this summer. Some flood damage repair work has been completed on county roads along the Minnesota River but more needs to be done as time allows. Seal coating of 34 miles of road will be completed by the first week in August. In the next few weeks we will be installing some major patches on roads that are breaking down. These repairs will hopefully last long enough for us to receive sufficient funds to perform a surface rehabilitation project on the roads before they break down again. We will be using a mastic product this fall to repair some roads with larger cracks. Over the years these cracks have broken down allowing water under the surface and caused a bump for a vehicle driving on the road. This maintenance work will allow us to get more years out of the road before a major surface rehabilitation project is needed. In the fall the maintenance crews will add gravel to some shoulders, mow the entire road ditch on some county roads and spray for weeds and trees on some others.

Construction zones can be a dangerous place for the workers and the traveling public. Watch for signs and flagmen in construction zones. Slow down, drive cautiously and obey construction signage to keep everyone safe.