MnDOT gives updates on Highway 19 reconstruction
2025 project could take more than one season, MnDOT reps say
MARSHALL — It now looks like a reconstruction of Minnesota Highway 19 in Marshall planned to start in 2025 will take more than one construction season, Minnesota Department of Public Safety representatives said Wednesday.
More information on how the construction might be broken into phases over 2025 and 2026 isn’t available yet, said MnDOT Public Engagement Representatve Mandi Lighthizer-Schmidt. However, more details will be worked out as the planning process continues.
“There have been a lot of questions” on the construction timeline, Lighthizer-Schmidt said. The project, which will reconstruct Highway 19 (College Drive) from near the National Guard Armory all the way to Bruce Street, was too long to complete all at once, she said.
Lighthizer-Schmidt and MnDOT Project Manager Jesse Vlaminck were at Liberty Park, listening to public feedback and answering questions during the first of two drop-in events planned for this week. A third session will be held during Marshall’s National Night Out celebration.
“We’ve had a few people stop by,” Lighthizer-Schmidt said. There would likely be more after Wednesday’s “A Night Music” performance as well, she said.
Area residents had a chance to look at sketches of the College Drive project, which includes several changes to intersections near the Armory and Marshall’s downtown area. Besides improving traffic flow along College Drive, “We want to make it safer for all modes of traffic,” including pedestrians and cyclists, Vlaminck said.
A single-lane roundabout is planned to replace the three-way intersection near the Armory. Vlaminck said he heard a number of concerns about the roundabout from one Marshall resident, but he and Lighthizer-Schmidt said so far people seemed to be accepting of it. They had received some questions about a “mini roundabout” that the city of Marshall had recently proposed near the intersection of South Fourth Street and Country Club Drive, but Lighthizer-Schmidt said that is a separate, city project. Questions about the Country Club Drive proposal should go to the city of Marshall, she said.
Other notable changes planned for Highway 19 in Marshall include the removal of the stoplight at the intersection of College Drive and West Lyon Street. The stoplight was too close to the one at the intersection of College Drive and Main Street and frequently causes traffic backups, Lighthizer-Schmidt said. Instead, the College Drive/Lyon intersection will become a two-way stop, with stop signs on Lyon Street. A pedestrian island and crossing signals will also be added a little further down Lyon Street.
Other traffic controls include the addition of a median to make the intersection of West Marshall Street and College Drive a right-turn only intersection, and more pedestrian islands and crossings near Liberty Park and True Light Christian School.
There are several ways area residents can learn more about the planned Highway 19 reconstruction, Lighthizer-Schmidt said. There are informational displays at Marshall City Hall and at the Marshall-Lyon County Library. Another drop-in event with MnDOT representatives will be held at the Marshall Farmers Market on Saturday, and they will also be at National Night Out in Independence Park from 5-7 p.m. on Aug. 3.
“We’re going to have a more traditional open house too,” Lighthizer-Schmidt said. The open house is planned for Aug. 11, and MnDOT will be making more information available about it, she said.