Water causing problems for New Ulm Gateway construction project

Water causing problems for New Ulm Gateway construction project

NEW ULM, Minn. (KEYC) - The City of New Ulm is highly anticipating the New Ulm Gateway construction project to be completed.

Construction crews are at a standstill at one end of the project as the river is too high to even work on the bridge.

Currently, the Minnesota River at New Ulm sits at an elevation of 801 feet.

Before crews can get in the water, it has to fall at least 6-feet, to 795 feet.

If they don’t get in within a couple of weeks, the bridge over the river is in danger of not being finished in time for winter.

“When the river is this high, we cannot access it with the barges we are using safely obviously because you can’t hold them steady enough. We can’t get into the cofferdams because they are all flooded and we need to get those pumped out,” said Todd Kjolstad, a MnDOT project supervisor.

The other end of the project, the Highway 14 and 15 interchange, is right on schedule.

If all goes according to plan, it should be open to traffic soon.

“On the other end of the spectrum, the other side that we are working on, the land bridge, we would anticipate by the middle to end of August that we could have that open and ready for traffic so the detour that people are currently experiencing on County Road 5 all the way over to 21 on to Highway 14, which is taking them out of their way quite a bit, they won’t be impacted by that for much more than a month," Kjolstad added.

Crews were set to get in the water about a week ago but over 6 inches of rain around the Morton area caused the river once again rise substantially.

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