By Ivan Raconteur
Farm work continues during the Highway 7 project, and this subject came up during Wednesday’s Highway 7 update meeting at the Hollywood Ranch House.
Bob Sherman, who farms land within the Highway 7 project area, attended the meeting to ask about using the highway to haul grain and gravel.
Sherman expressed concern about damage that could be caused by driving on township roads with heavy trucks.
“We’re going to have to use that highway or the township won’t have any roads left,” Sherman commented.
He said he would prefer to use an approximately one-mile stretch of the highway to get from Yale Avenue to Carver County Road 33 to ship grain.
There is some logic in going to a paved road,” MnDOT representative Dave Johnson commented.
Ron Hall, project manager for contractor Knife River agreed.
“If the farm is in the project area, that is local traffic,” Hall said.
He asked Sherman to turn on his four-way flashers when driving on the closed portion of the highway.
“The big thing for us is safety on the road,” MnDOT representative Kelly Brunkhorst said.
Sherman also said he plans to haul in 20 to 25 loads of gravel for a building project.
Dust control was another issue that was discussed during the meeting.
Hollywood Township board chair Curtis Thaemert said he has received calls from township residents who do not want to pay for dust control on 58th Street and Tacoma Avenue because of the increased traffic levels resulting from the Highway 7 project.
Brunkhorst said this would meet the criteria of an “unofficial detour.”
Johnson said that additional expenses beyond what the township would normally pay could be submitted for consideration.
He said the township would have to pay for the work, and submit receipts to MnDOT for reimbursement when the project is complete.
Excavation has begun at the intersection of Highway Carver County Road 10 where a roundabout will be built.
Shoulder removal will begin at that intersection and continue to the west.
Crews have finished installing culvert liners, and all new centerline culverts west of Eagle Avenue in McLeod County are complete. Installation of centerline culverts in other parts of the project area will continue.
Bituminous removal between McLeod County Road 15 and Eagle Avenue has been completed. Power poles are being relocated, and when this is finished, deep organic excavation (muck excavation) below the road bed will begin.
Crews are continuing to work on pond construction in the project area. As of Wednesday, four of the 13 ponds had been excavated.