ARDEN HILLS, Minn. - The long-delayed road construction season got started in earnest Wednesday afternoon with the commencement of the three-times delayed Highway 10/County Road 96 project. The major work on the busy commuter route will last until November.
The intersection of the two roads was shut down at mid-afternoon, much to the surprise of numerous commuters who knew it was coming at some point, but had no warning that it would be Wednesday.
"We are actually lowering the grade of County Road 96 here by 22 feet and we are going to take Highway 10 over the top," said Kent Barnard, MnDot spokesperson. "At the same time, we're resurfacing Highway 10 here between 694 and 35W, both directions. So, there's a lot of work to be done in a very short time period here.
Barnard said the impact of the closure is not lost on the state agency.
"Highway 10 and County Road 96 here carry a fairly large volume of traffic, both morning and afternoon commuters and with that closed, that traffic has to go somewhere," said Barnard. "And we are looking at increased traffic volumes on 35W and on I-694 where we already have construction underway down by Snelling Avenue."
MnDOT has a number of other construction projects underway or about to begin. One includes lane closures Monday on I-94 between Highway 120 and the I-694/I-494 split east of Saint Paul. Also, expect delays thanks to closures on Highway 95 between Highway 8 and the Sunrise River.
There are a number of lane closures planned on I-35E as part of the Cayuga Corridor Project, but Barnard said they will not cause major problems this year. Next year is expected to see the greater impact from those projects.
It is fair warning that with the warmer Spring temperatures comes the chilling notion of highway construction and closures.
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