The 2020 summer road construction season was a busy one for the Minnesota Department of Transportation.  As the season begins to change, the agency has released some summary details about what they were up to this year.

According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, they :

"advanced or completed more than 200 road and bridge projects during the 2020 construction season that is now wrapping up throughout Minnesota. An additional 36 projects enhanced safety at railroad crossings, and 15 projects extended or repaired runways or other infrastructure at local airports."

To say that the 2020 season was productive would be an understatement.  Jay Hietpas - MNDOT's Assistant Comissioner-Operations said that even with pandemic-related restrictions in place, there was forward progress. Hietpas shared "Minnesota's 2020 construction program represented a broad mix of projects that improved all modes of transportation and provided jobs throughout the state during a challenging year.  While COVID-19 created challenges in some areas, the reduced traffic volumes we saw early in the season helped in some cases to minimize disruptions to travelers.  We want to thank everyone in both the private and public sectors who helped make this season a success, and worked diligently to keep projects on track".

So what did the Minnesota Department of Transportation accomplish in the summer of 2020?  Some notable projects included the Highway 5 "Around The Airport" site near the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, the new Highway 63 birgde in Red Wing, concrete resurfacing and safety improvements along 18 miles of Highway 23 between Cottonwood and Granite falls, and reconstruction of five miles of Highway 210 west of Fergus Falls.  In addition, two important multi-year projects that began in 2020 include the Twin Ports Interchange here in Duluth and improvements to Interstate 94 between Maple Grove and Clearwater.

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Closer to home, here are some highlights for Northeastern Minnesota:

  • I-35 Lake Avenue Bridge:  Resurfaced the Lake Avenue bridge that spans I-35 in downtown Duluth - while improving sidewalks, signals, police and traffic cameras, and added bike lanes and left-turn-lanes onto Superior Street.
  • Highway 62 in Grand Marais:  Completed the first of a two-year project that will reconstruct Highway 61 in Grand Marais and improve other infrastructure.
  • Highway 53 in International Falls:  Completed the first of a two-year project that will repair pavement, improve drainage and the storm sewer system, improve pedestrian accessibility, built a multi-use trail, and add new signal systems and LED lighting.
  • Highway 1 & 73:  Completed the first of a two-year project that will resurface 21 miles of Highway 1 and five miles of Highway 73, replace ten culverts, and realign the Highway 1 & 53 intersection.
  • Highway 37 in Gilbert:  Completed the first of a two-year project that will resurface Highway 37 through Gilbert, replace underground utilities, and improve intersections.

Additionally, MNDOT is reporting that they made traffic control changes in District 1m celebrated the reopening of Highway 53 in Virginia, and the completion of work for 2-2- on Highway 61 in rand Portage.

For a complete listing of what MNDOT accomplished in 2020, click here.

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