By Ivan Raconteur
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN Reconstruction of McLeod County Road 23 east of Lester Prairie is among $12 million in road projects scheduled by the county this year.
The project involves reconstruction of about 1.25 miles of McLeod County Road 23 from McLeod County Road 9 to the eastern county line.
The plans include moving the center line of the road 17 feet to the south.
The project will involve removing and reconstructing the road and the sub-base, and adding eight-foot-wide shoulders on each side to bring the road up to state aid standards.
The sharp curve within that section is currently considered deficient, and is rated at 45 miles per hour, according to Tim Becker, project engineer for McLeod County.
The curve will be realigned and, when complete, will be rated at 55 miles per hour, Becker said.
He added that the road is currently at a 10-year flood level. The project involves raising the roadway about 18 inches to bring it up to 25-year flood level.
Becker said the plan also includes installation of two 10-foot by six-foot box culverts to replace the small bridge over Otter Creek.
“The existing pavement surface has deteriorated to the point where we needed to do something,” Becker commented.
Becker said the estimated cost of the project is $1.7 million.
The county has already secured $720,000 in federal funding for the project.
Becker said that the remainder of the cost of the project is expected to come from state aid funding.
The project will require 50-feet of right-of-way to the north and 60 feet to the south.
The county will need an easement from the McLeod County Rail Authority for the Dakota Rail corridor on the north side of the road, and is in the process of acquiring right-of-way from 13 parcels that are affected by the project.
Carver County does not plan to improve the portion of the road in Carver County at this time. according to Becker.
McLeod County may do a mill and overlay project on County Road 23 west of County Road 9 at about the same time as the reconstruction to the east is being done, but this will not be part of the same project.
Becker said the county will probably advertise for bids in April and award the project in May.
Reconstruction is expected to begin in mid-to-late June, and paving will be completed in 2011, Becker said.
County Engineer John Brunkhorst presented a summary of the $12 million in road projects during a recent workshop meeting with county commissioners.
In addition to the County Road 23 project, there are reconstruction and resurfacing projects planned for several county roads this year.
Among the projects are reconstruction of two sections of County Road 25 in Hutchinson, resurfacing County Road 2 between Glencoe and Silver Lake, and reconstructing a bridge over County Ditch 40 on County Road 71 east of Hutchinson.