By Ryan Gueningsman
DELANO, MN The railroad bridge and highway reconstruction project in Independence and Maple Plain east of Delano is currently on schedule.
Construction of the temporary shoofly (railroad bridge) has been completed, and work to relocate the train tracks from the old bridge to the temporary shoofly began May 3, according to Maple Plain City Administrator Jason Ziemer.
In an update last week, Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) reported that Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) may actually be a week ahead of schedule with relocating the tracks.
“The bridge contractor began mobilization in preparation for removing the old structure,” Ziemer said.
It is expected the contractor will start building one of the bridge abutments as the other, old abutment is being removed.
“Although we have not received confirmation, MnDOT indicated to me that the contractor will start working extended hours because of the tight timeline of the project,” Ziemer added.
Future updates can be found on the city’s website, www.mapleplain.com, under the “Highway 12 Railroad Bridge Project” tab.
The purpose of the project is to replace the BNSF Railroad Bridge over Highway 12 in the city of Independence.
The existing bridge does not meet minimum standard height requirements over the highway, and the design of the existing bridge and the current roadway layout limits the sight distance on Highway 12, according to MnDOT.
Construction of the new bridge will provide the necessary vertical clearance and improve the sight distance through the bridge corridor.
A one-mile section of Highway 12 is being reconstructed from Hennepin County Road 90 in the city of Independence to the Independence/Maple Plain city limits.
The new roadway will provide 12-foot lanes, 10-foot shoulders, and left-and right- turn lanes to existing businesses.
During construction, Highway 12 is closed to through-traffic. All east- and west-bound traffic will use Hennepin County Road 6 to get around the construction site.
Roads and access to businesses in Maple Plain are still available.
Business task force continuing to meet
The business task force continues to meet regularly and would love new members and new ideas, according to Ziemer.
“Your involvement is a great way to help build up and strengthen our community, and to help create awareness of your business to all of our residents,” Ziemer said.
The task force and chamber of commerce is sponsoring its second business social Tuesday, June 1 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Monies, 4820 Highway 12.
Ziemer also addressed the MnDOT detour maps, indicating he “certainly understands that not every business is listed on the map.
“Unfortunately, that is not possible,” he said. “MnDOT wanted to focus on those businesses directly impacted by traffic or those businesses with truck traffic, such as the industrial companies.”