Contractor urges caution in Highway 7 project work area

Sept 15, 2008

By Ivan Raconteur
Staff Writer

The asphalt plant is back on site, and there will be a lot of traffic in the Highway 7 project work area in the days and weeks ahead.

“We are going to have a lot of stuff going on,” Knife River project manager Ron Hall said. “Local traffic can still get through, but we ask people to keep safety in mind.”

During Wednesday’s project updated meeting at the Hollywood Ranch House, Hall said now that the asphalt plant is back on site, there will be two pavers, two milling machines, three graders, and 50 trucks working in the project area at the same time.

Last week, crews were preparing the roundabout at Highway 25 for paving.

One paver will concentrate on the roundabout and the surrounding area, and the other will focus on the passing lanes between Carver County Road 10 and Highway 25.

Once Highway 25 and the passing lanes to the east are complete, Knife River will begin to cover the grading areas with a base layer of pavement. After that, milling and paving operations will progress from east to west.

“Our intention is to have the detour in place next week,” Hall said.

Hall and MnDOT representative Kelly Brunkhorst announced previously that once the Highway 25 roundabout is open and all safety devices are in place, MnDOT will reopen the section of Highway 7 from Highway 25 east, and will move the official project detour from Highway 41 to Highway 25. This is currently scheduled to happen Friday, Sept. 19, weather permitting.

In McLeod County, overhead lighting is being installed at the intersections with Highway 7 and County Road 1, County Road 2, and County Road 9.

In response to a question about why a passing lane and turn lane were installed at the west driveway to RiteWay Mechanical, but not the east driveway, Brunkhorst said RiteWay Mechanical requested that the turn lane be placed where it is.

She said she would go back to the design file to see what discussion took place, but noted she has been in contact with a representative from the company throughout the construction process, and no concerns have been raised about the location of the turn lane.

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