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Land shifts close Highway 67 near Granite Falls into 2020

The shifts have caused significant drops in the driving lanes, making conditions unsafe for motorists.
Credit: MnDOT
Significant land shifts have closed a section of State Highway 67 near Granite Falls.

GRANITE FALLS, Minn. — A major southwestern Minnesota highway closed since early April will remain unusable into 2020. 

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) says major shifts in the land under Highway 67 southeast of Granite Falls have created significant pavement damage and forced the closure of the road between the Upper Sioux Agency State Park entrance and 600th Street April 4. The shifts have caused several significant drops, cracks and crevices in the driving lane.

Since the closure MnDOT has implemented an investigation plan and has been using instruments to measure the depth of movement below ground. Groundwater depth and saturation levels are also being monitored. 

The embankment has moved at a consistent rate, approximately one inch per day at the main pavement crack. Land movement is most significant 50 feet beneath the road surface.

Credit: MnDOT
Underground instruments suggest the land movement is greatest 50 feet under the surface.

Additional monitoring and investigation is needed before MnDOT can consider options and a feasibility study for reopening the road. Traffic will continue to be routed on Highway 23, Highway 274, and County Road 18 until further notice. It is expected that the study and repairs will keep Highway 67 closed well into 2020. 

Traffic impacts

  • A detour is in effect using Highway 23, Highway 274 and Yellow Medicine County Road 18 (see map below).
  • Highway 67 is open from Highway 23 (Granite Falls) to the Upper Sioux Agency State Park Visitor Center.
  • To access the Upper Sioux Agency State Park Yellow Medicine Campground, follow the detour and approach from the south.
  • There is no through access from the Upper Sioux Agency State Park to the Yellow Medicine Campground.

When a road is closed, it is illegal to travel in that area. Motorists can be fined up to $1,000 and/or sentenced to 90 days in jail. In addition, if travelers need to be rescued from a closed road, the cost for first responders and other expenses will be paid by the offending driver.