Charles Zelle is Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Transportation. He told WCCO Radio that managing the state’s transportation system is a bit of a conundrum. “Fifty percent of our roads are more than 50 years old,” Zelle said.
It’s Friday, so we’re answering some of the Good Questions you’ve e-mailed us this summer. Lisa from Farmington, Minn. asks: why are dog years counted seven years for every one year of human life?
Republican candidate for governor Marty Seifert says lawmakers should consider tapping the state’s rainy-day budget reserve for a road-construction infusion. Seifert said Friday that pulling from the reserve would be one option he’d use to address a backlog of road and bridge needs. He’s opposed to raising new revenue through taxes and fees.
A three-year project to add another lane to Interstate 494 in Plymouth is officially underway, following a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday morning. The stretch of 494 from Highway 55 to the Fish Lake Interchange is the only part of 494 that didn’t have three lanes.
Break out the orange barrels — another road construction season is around the corner in Minnesota. State Department of Transportation officials Thursday unveiled the projects they’ll tackle this year.
Warner Road in St. Paul, Minn. will be closed March 22 – 23 as construction crews continue the demolition of the southbound Highway 52 Lafayette Bridge. Warner Road will close at 7 a.m. Saturday between Sibley Street and Childs Road. The road is scheduled to reopen again by 5 p.m. Sunday, March 23, weather permitting.
Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration is directing $300 million into ten highway construction projects meant to break up bottlenecks and improve freight movement around the state. Dayton and Transportation Commissioner Charlie Zelle announced the projects Thursday.
Heading out this weekend? You’re going to want to double check this list of road closures and construction projects in the metro area. The following are projects that may affect travel:
Authorities are searching for the suspect who allegedly hit a highway construction worker Wednesday night in New Brighton and then fled the scene. The Minnesota State Patrol said the worker, who was sawing concrete as part of the repair project, was struck at 9:50 p.m. on the eastbound lanes of I-694, west of the ramp from the interstate to Long Lake Road.
The Highway 13 bridge over I-35W in Burnsville was supposed to be closed this weekend but it’ll now stay closed until crews can ensure its safe. That’ll put a kink in south metro traffic to begin the work week. The bridge was just having scheduled painting done, but crews noticed some damage and MnDOT decided to repair it.
With four days to go before the State Fair, it’s a mad dash for vendors. Karen Rutana, owner of Rutana Concessions, has been busy with all the final details. “Getting all of my staff ready, and getting all the tickets together – those types of things,” Rutana said.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has closed the ramp from Highway 13 to northbound Interstate 35W after damage was discovered by crews who were painting the ramp bridge. MnDOT says the closure is a precautionary measure and will allow inspectors to assess damage and determine what repairs are needed.
MnDOT’s urging drivers to plan ahead this weekend due to several road construction projects around the metro. Highway projects include work on Highway 10 between West Main Street/Greenhaven Road and Seventh Avenue.
When your motto is making “freaky fast” deliveries, the last thing you need to see are orange barrels and detour signs. It’s been a tough summer for Jimmy John’s delivery driver Joshua McClain. “The way [the] highway is is just stopping our business from getting here,” McClain said. “So I’m not getting in as many hours of work. And I mean, just to get anyplace, period, 694 is a highway that everybody uses.”
There are three potential headaches awaiting motorists in the metro this weekend. A section of Highway 62 — between Highway 100 and 35W — is closed in both directions for the weekend, as crews are demolishing the Penn Avenue Bridge. The closure will last until 5 Monday morning, and detours are posted.