Closer look at Hwy. 23 project

Russell to Pipestone construction slated to begin June 3

PIPESTONE — Most of the upcoming construction on Minnesota Highway 23 this summer will be resurfacing work. But the project will still mean detours, because it also involves some highway closures for bridge and culvert work, Minnesota Department of Transportation staff said this week.

Two detours are planned for the project: one affecting Highway 23 between Russell and Florence, and one affecting the highway between Holland and Pipestone. Only one detour will be in place at a time, starting with the Florence detour, MnDOT staff said.

The detour in the Russell and Florence area will start June 3, and will be in place for about two months, MnDOT said.

MnDOT held an open house-style meeting in Pipestone on Monday afternoon to answer questions from the public on the project.

The majority of the project will be a mill and overlay of Highway 23, said Shanna Kent, resident engineer for MnDOT District 8. Two inches of the highway surface will be milled off and overlaid with new asphalt. MnDOT will also be replacing a box culvert near the city of Florence, and replacing the deck of a bridge near the intersection of Highway 23 and Highway 75 in Pipestone. While parts of the highway will be open during the resurfacing work, the road will have to be closed for the bridge and culvert replacements.

Another closure will affect Highway 23 near Russell, Kent said. MnDOT will be replacing the approaches to the highway bridge near Russell.

“We have to close the road down to pour concrete in there,” she said.

Kent said MnDOT had tried to coordinate with the city of Russell regarding the community’s Bandwagon Days festival in early June. Even with the detour in place, there will still be access to Russell through other routes.

The detour for the Pipestone bridge deck replacement is planned to begin August 21, and stay in place until November. However, MnDOT staff said detour dates can change depending on weather and other circumstances.

MnDOT staff said people who live and work along the project route will still have access to Highway 23, usually from the nearest intersection to their location. But drivers should expect changes to their entrance points as the construction progresses.

Drivers traveling along Highway 23 should use caution in the work zone, and watch for flaggers, MnDOT staff said. Motorists should expect delays as they travel through the busy work zone.


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