Improvements coming to Warren Street

Updated: May. 5, 2021 at 7:13 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — Motorists in Mankato may notice changes to their drive between the downtown area and Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Starting Thursday, a portion of Warren Street will be closed for road improvements and other construction. Traffic control in the area will begin Thursday, although construction is set to begin Monday.

“The roadway in the past has been built as a high capacity vehicular roadway due to the lack of other alternate routes before Stadium Road hill was constructed and Stoltzman Road, so it is kind of an original road in the city of Mankato,” stated Michael McCarty, assistant city engineer for the City of Mankato.

The road has some history in the city. It was originally one of the few ways to get to Minnesota State University, Mankato from downtown for years before getting its big change in 2011 when it became a two-way street.

But even before this, the road looked very different from how it is known to locals today. It wasn’t until the 1970s that it led directly to MSU’s campus.

“Downtown Mankato used to really be the hub of Mankato,” said Heather Harren, communications and archives manager at the Blue Earth County Historical Society. “That is where most of the stores were, that’s where the restaurants were, that’s where the grocery stores were. So you would do most of your shopping, and then you would use the different thoroughfares to get to your homes, and so Warren Street was one of those streets that would take you back to your homes.”

Construction is estimated to run until October and will include pavement enhancements, building pedestrian facilities, storm sewer system construction and updating stoplights at the intersections of Broad and South Second Streets.

“We wanted to make sure we have the right size of alternatives and the right size the improvements for the users that are using it not only today, but 20 or 30 years intro the future,” McCarty said.

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