U.S. Hwy. 59 project pushed back again

MARSHALL – A MnDOT spokesperson said Tuesday the $2.3 million resurfacing project on U.S. Highway 59 south of Marshall won’t begin until late next week.

The project has been delayed twice already for various reasons. MnDOT said the late winter pushed road work around the state back this year. The project was originally scheduled to begin Sept. 11, then was pushed back to Sept. 16 because of an unexpected contractor delay.

“I know the contractor is on an aggressive schedule, and all of the contractors are really busy,” said Judy Jacobs, public affairs coordinator for MnDOT. “They’re trying to get all the projects wrapped up by mid-November. We’re getting right down to the wire here.”

Central Specialties of Alexandria is the general contractor for the project.

Jacobs said the project should begin next week with the removal of the old cable guard rails, which will be replaced with plate beam rails. She said it’s possible grating work will coincide with the removal of the current guard rails at two locations along the stretch of highway.

“They could do guard rail work and grating simultaneously,” Jacobs said. “The paving should come in shortly after that; it’s really the contractor’s call. They work within MnDOT guidelines but set their schedule when they can get crews here. They’re committed to starting the guard rail by the end of next week.”

The resurfacing includes a two-inch overlay where two inches of old pavement are removed and replaced with two inches of new pavement.

During construction, motorists can expect delays of anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes, MnDOT said. Motorists will be directed by flaggers with a pilot car.

Crews will work from the south near where 59 intersects with U.S. Highway 14 and proceed north toward Marshall.

Jacobs said the federal government shutdown has no bearing on the Highway 59 project. MnDOT said the Federal Highway Administration had notified the agency that it has sufficient contract authority to temporarily continue operations during the shutdown. While federal approval for any new project or federal grants will cease during the shutdown, MnDOT possesses sufficient cash reserves to temporarily sustain highway and transit project operations.