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Old Highway 14 construction starting soon

Lead Summary

With construction season in full swing in Owatonna, motorists can expect some more delays in their commute. 
Construction on the $3.2 million project is slated to begin Monday, May 18 on Old Highway 14 also known as County Road 2 and Hoffman Drive. Work will begin at the western Owatonna city limits and continue to the intersection of Steele County Road 45 and State Avenue. 
Mike Dougherty, MnDot Public Affairs Coordinator, explained that MnDot is covering the project cost for the last time for this road, as it is being turned-back to Steele County. 
“When you hand something over you don’t want it to have any immediate maintenance issues. The work that is being done should carry them a number of years in the future before there is any real significant work that they have to do on it,” Dougherty said. 
From I-35 to State Avenue roadway reconstruction will take place. “They will go through and identify the panels of the concrete that are cracked or if there are joints that are failing so it can withstand continual traffic,” Dougherty said of the project. 
From I-35 to the western Owatonna city limits there will be concrete pavement rehabilitation. 
The project will also include the construction of a new sidewalk on the south side between State Avenue and I-35 and on the north side between I-35 and the intersection of 21st Avenue. The project will also make American Disabilities Act (ADA) updates to make everything accessible to all pedestrians. 
During the construction there will be both lane closures and crossovers. On the east side of the project traffic will be moved head-to-head by using a crossover, similar to the crossover currently on I-35. On the west side of the project traffic will be restricted to one lane, rather than two, on each side. 
“The volume of traffic is bound to at times make things slower going so if people are used to zipping through an area in five minutes there is a chance depending on the time of day that it could be 10 minutes or longer,” Dougherty said. “We just ask that people really be observant and attentive while they are driving through there for their own safety and the workers safety. Just follow the speed limits and really pay attention to the signs.” 
Fortunately the same contractor for the I-35 project through Owatonna, Mathiowetz Construction Company out of Sleepy Eye, Minnesota, was awarded the bid on the project so the projects will coordinate to make the least traffic impacts as possible. 
The timeline for the project is as follows: 
• May 18 begin construction.
• Reconstruct eastbound lanes east of I-35.
• Rehab of road west of I-35 close inside lanes.
• Working on the sidewalk west of I-35.
• June 7 work west of I-35 switches traffic to new inside lanes. Scheduled to be complete by late June. 
• June 29 work east of I-35 to begin. 
• Traffic switched to newly constructed eastbound Lanes. 
The entire project is scheduled to be complete by Aug. 15, just in time for the Steele County Fair. 
“We think it will be a good project that is good for Owatonna. There is a lot of work going on in and around Owatonna right now and once it is all done it is going to be a lot of good driving surfaces for people,” he said. “We hope that people give us their patience this summer and hope by the fall we will be out of here and there won’t be that many projects in the coming years that people will have to worry about.” 

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