Road repairs include ‘169’

BLUE EARTH – John McDonald sees a lot of road construction ahead in Faribault County.

“Busy summer ahead of us, looking forward to it,” said the county engineer.

The project on everyone’s mind is Highway 169, which will have three roundabouts in the short stretch running through Blue Earth when the work is complete. The cost has been estimated at $8 million, with Blue Earth responsible for $878,000, Blue Earth Light and Water for $784,000, and Faribault County for roughly $400,000. State dollars are covering the rest.

Although the work will be done in Blue Earth, the project is spearheaded by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

A pre-construction meeting has been set for 4-6 p.m. June 4 at the Public Safety Building (police and fire station) in Blue Earth.

“We’ll know more about the schedule then,” McDonald said.

After the first initial meeting there will be weekly meetings every Wednesday at 11 a.m. for approximately a half hour at the Public Safety Center. Department of Transportation representatives will be available to meet with the public and answer questions all summer throughout the project.

These informational sessions will follow meetings between the contractors and engineers, so residents will receive the latest information each week.

For the latest updates, has a link to the Department of Transportation website:

A few other projects are also planned this summer in Faribault County:

o The bridge on County Road 4, just east of Highway 169.

Construction will include the bridge and a couple hundred feet on either side. It is scheduled to take six weeks and M&K Bridge Construction from Walnut Grove is in charge. Detours will be posted.

The project cost is $377,000, and the county is getting more than $300,000 in federal funds and $59,000 in bridge bonding funds, McDonald said.

“When you buy a gallon of gas, there’s federal tax. That’s how that money finds its way back to Faribault County,” McDonald said. “The federal money really helps make a big difference for us.”

o County Road 13 from County Road 16 south to County Road 4.

That stretch of 4.5 miles includes a couple projects within townships, McDonald said.

The cost is a little more than $2 million and will be paid for with a combination of state aid funds and township funds.

A pre-construction meeting is set up for next week and Brunz Construction of Madison Lake is heading the project.

o County Road 62 in Wells.

GM Contracting of Lake Crystal will handle the $1.6 million project. It will be paid for with a combination of county state aid funds and by the city of Wells.

Other work planned for later this summer includes the Department of Natural Resources working on the bridge at the outlet of South Walnut Lake.

“That’s all the work we will hire out,” McDonald said. “We do a lot of our own.”

County crews will be doing bituminous work on County Road 2 west of 169, paving four miles, McDonald said, “along with miscellaneous bituminous patching around the county.”

Crews will be doing patchwork, shouldering, maintenance and mowing. Surveying crews will also be out,. McDonald wants motorists to be aware of those working and drive carefully.