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Hwy. 12 commuters in for a slow ride for the next few months

July 14, 2008

Repair project brings single-lane travel in both directions

By Ryan Gueningsman
Managing Editor

Commuters and those traveling Highway 12 between Delano and the Twin Cities can expect more than one construction project to potentially slow them down this summer.

Extensive repairs to a four-mile stretch of Highway 12 between Wayzata Boulevard in Wayzata and Interstate 494 in Minnetonka began July 7, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT).

The project includes concrete pavement repair, resurfacing, repairs to median and drainage, as well as lighting improvements and bridge repairs, according to MnDOT. Work began on the inside lanes of the highway with traffic restricted to a single lane in each direction 24 hours a day, seven days a week until late August.

When work is complete on the inside lanes of the road, traffic will be moved onto the newly repaired pavement. Traffic will then be two lanes in each direction until completion of the project in late September.

There will be occasional, temporary ramp closures and access restrictions during the project, including limiting access between Highway 12 and I-494. Access will be periodically restricted all along the corridor, including access to I-494.

The loop between County Road 101 (Gleason Lake Road) will be closed for 12 days during work on the outside lanes of the highway. Signed detour routes will be provided during closures.

Although the project will be completed in late September, there will be additional work next spring on Highway 12 at Wayzata Boulevard to tie this year’s work into the current Highway 12 bypass project through Long Lake and Orono.

Hennepin County Road 6 south of Hwy. 12 closed

Hennepin County Road 6 closed early June 23, at the junction of Highway 12 in Orono to allow crews to construct the roadway at the two ends of the new Hennepin County Road 6 bridge over Highway 12, according to MnDOT.

During the closure, Hennepin County Road 6 traffic north of Highway 12 is to detour on Willow Road back to Highway 12.

Hennepin County Road 6 on the south side of Highway 12 will detour on Watertown Road and Willow Road to reach Highway 12. There will be no restrictions on Highway 12 in this area.

Hennepin County Road 6 will reopen to traffic on the new bridge across Highway 12 by the end of July, weather permitting.

The end result will be . . .

Highway 12 in Wayzata, Long Lake, and Orono is a standard two-lane highway, with renovation/bypass work being constructed in two stages.

The first phase of the project began in summer 2003, and was substantially completed in fall 2006.

This phase constructed the majority of the realigned Highway 12 along with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad.

The project removed an at-grade crossing of the railroad and the requirement for train whistles and horns. The old highway will continue to serve downtown Long Lake and west in Orono.

The second stage, begun in July 2007, includes two new interchanges at Hennepin County Road 6 (west end) and at Wayzata Boulevard (east end).

Traffic will not use the new highway until the roadway is connected at Hennepin County Road 6 and Wayzata Boulevard. This stage will be substantially completed in the fall of 2008.

MnDOT cites benefits to Long Lake as it will reclaim its downtown by directing through-traffic, especially the large trucks, to the bypass.

The existing Highway 12 will become a Hennepin County roadway, after the bypass is complete.

Following completion of the new roadway and railroad realignment, a landscaping project will beautify the entire corridor.

This project will also remove the existing Luce Line Trail Bridge over existing Highway 12 and replace it with a salvaged bridge from the previous contract.

This work may require that existing Highway 12 be closed for periods of time to remove the existing bridge and install the new bridge.

This work is dependent upon the Highway 12 bypass being open with all movements at the Hennepin County Road 6 interchange being available.

This stage will begin in April 2009 and be completed in May 2009.

It is anticipated that this project will be complete by June 2009.

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