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Next phase of Highway 23 construction set to begin

July 17, 2010
By Deb Gau

There was likely to be some confusion along Minnesota Highway 23 on Friday, MnDOT project engineer Adam Ahrndt said, but the Department of Transportation hoped to have it cleared up by that evening.

One lane of the ongoing construction between Marshall and Russell is complete, and road crews were preparing to move traffic over.

For part of the day Friday, traffic was limited to the outside lane on each side of the divided highway between Marshall and Lynd, and Ahrndt said he was anticipating the transition to the newly-finished side would be done by about 5:30 p.m.

Ahrndt said there was more potential for traffic congestion or confusion right after the change, but added, "We're trying to minimize that by having the maximum number of people out there" to help with directing traffic.

Signage for local businesses along Highway 23 may need to be shifted slightly, but Ahrndt said traffic lights and four-way stops at intersections won't change. Crossings at Minnesota Highway 19, Saratoga Street, U.S. Highway 59, and Lyon County Road 7 will remain open. Part of Highway 23 north of the intersection with Highway 19 is still closed to traffic for construction of a pedestrian underpass, Ahrndt said.

Ahrndt said road construction should continue by the middle of next week, after grass seeding is done along the new segment of road.

Issues with turning and right-of-ways at the 59/23 intersection continued Friday evening and led to confusion among drivers.

Along with the lane changes, part of Highway 23 near the intersection with Lyon County Road 5 is closed except for local traffic.

Ahrndt said he had received about four calls about the road closure, but most were questions rather than traffic complaints.

Ahrndt said MnDOT didn't want to limit local access to homes and businesses in Lynd, but at the same time, he said, "we want to discourage someone trying to find a shortcut" around construction detours.

At various points in construction, even local traffic will need to travel on the shoulder of the road or face other limitations.

"There's not a lot of options," Ahrndt said.



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