Winter is wrapping up which means it's time for Minnesota to start its next official season, Road Construction.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation announced the state's 2013 summer road construction program, calling for more than 1.1 billion dollars in new or continuing highway improvement projects statewide.
MnDOT Engineer Charlie Kremer said, "It is going to be a very busy summer for us, it is going to be a good summer."
Today the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced 337 projects across the state including around 2–dozen in our district. The most visible and costly project around Mankato will be on highway 14.
Kremer said, "We'll have the 14/41 interchange, the bridge will be built the summer and we are going to finish out the paving on the 4–lane."
Roundabouts will also be constructed on 169 in Blue Earth, and a bridge will rebuilt on highway 68 over the railroad. While there will be disruptions to traffic flow, MnDOT says not to forgot about the benefits of construction.
Kremer said, "Hwy 14/41 we are going to improve safety by having a grade separating interchange at that location, it will also help the economic development in that area for the business growth and access to the system."
With $78 million going to our district alone, MnDOT says the improvements are costly, but necessary.
Kremer said, "Just to maintain the system that we have in place today we need to continually be investing in that to keep it in the shape it's in and improve our existing system."
As usual officials are urging motorists to drive with extra caution as the construction season starts and crews will be out daily on some of the busiest roads around the state.
For more information on projects happening in your area and across the state, go to http://www.dot.state.mn.us/construction/.