Highway 15 resurfacing set to begin

FAIRMONT – Summer may be ending, but there are still a few months left in the construction season, and that will be evident in Martin County.

Expect to see work begin on Highway 15 north of Fairmont and on County Road 27 north of Welcome shortly after Labor Day.

“We have County Road 39 north of the fairgrounds nearly complete except for striping,” said Martin County Highway Department engineer Kevin Peyman. “The stretch on County Road 27 is an overlay, so it will be reduced to one lane of traffic and we’ll be using pilot cars. But we hope to keep the road open to traffic.”

With the pilot cars, Peyman said to expect a 5- to 10-minute delay.

Pilot cars also can be expected on Highway 15, as the resurfacing project between Fairmont and the Watonwan County line is expected to begin Sept. 17.

“We will be starting the [Americans With Disabilities Act] improvements in the town of Truman beginning Sept. 3, but we don’t expect that to impact traffic,” said Dan Franta, project engineer for the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Milling and roadwork for the 11-mile stretch of Highway 15 is expected to take about a month.

“The entire project is expected to be complete by Oct. 11,” Franta said.

Along with the stretch of Highway 15 in Martin County, a portion of Highway 15 in Brown County will be under construction at the same time. The project aims to provide a safer, smoother ride for the traveling public, according to information from the state.

Knife River Corporation of Sauk Rapids is the contractor on the $6.8 million project.

Another project motorists will notice this fall is the installment of electronic message boards on Interstate 90, including two near the Highway 15 exit.

The permanent electronic message board installations have already gotten under way near Worthington and Jackson. Motorists can expect shoulder closures on Highway 60 near Worthington, Windom, St. James, Madelia and Lake Crystal. On Interstate 90, the locations include Worthington, Jackson, Fairmont and Blue Earth.

“The shoulder closures should not have a serious traffic impact,” Franta said.

The electronic message boards will only be used for events and emergencies that impact traffic, such as crashes, road closures, construction or hazardous conditions. The message boards also will be used for Amber Alerts and other public safety messages.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation and State Patrol will partner in the use of and responsibility for the messages.

The project is part of the Toward Zero Deaths effort, which includes staff from MnDOT, State Patrol, Public Safety and Emergency Services. By providing real-time information to the motorists, the signs can improve route selection, reduce travel time and mitigate the severity/duration of incidents.

Timing on the installation of the signs will depend on how soon electrical power can be brought out to the sites.

Along with the seven message signs, there will be seven “Road closed when flashing” signs installed.

Global Specialties Contractor of Eagan is the contractor for the signs for $302,660.