Highway 56 construction plan moves forward
LE ROY, Minn. (KTTC) – The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) made a pitstop in Le Roy Thursday to touch base with residents. The talk of the town is the Highway 56 reconstruction project there. The construction will impact its main street area.
The project is expected to start in spring of 2024, and the road on main street will be completely torn up during that time.
Highway 56 is an important road in Le Roy, cutting right through its main street and seeing around 2,500 drivers a day.
But after more than sixty years, its getting some much needed construction.
“Because of that, it’s a really involved process. We take it all out, tear it all up and put it in brand new,” MnDOT Public Engagement Coordinator Cindy Morgan said.
MnDOT is planning to reconstruct a 1.2 mile stretch of Highway 56 through Le Roy’s main street starting in the spring of 2024. The majority of the project is focused on reconstruction roads and creating and fixing sidewalks, but there are a couple blocks where they are adding a bike lane.
At the same time, the City of LeRoy will replace aging city utilities underneath the road.
“Most of the time what we do is just come in and take a layer and put a new layer on top and that just builds up and up, but eventually that bottom just isn’t good anymore and that’s kind of the situation here,” Morgan said.
For more than a year, MnDOT has been working with the city of Le Roy to get feedback from community members and give updates on the project.
“Involving the community, talking to them about it, sharing what is going on, getting updates,” Morgan said.
City leaders say one of the town’s number one priorities is making the area by the school safe as possible.
“That’s always been a concern on busy highway 56 and the semis. That’s the biggest concern,” Le Roy councilman Gerald Payne said.
Another concern for the city is the impact it will have on businesses on main street.
“We’ve worked with them to let them know that they need to address their backdoor entrances, and that’s kind of what they’ll be doing and looking at,” Morgan said.
MnDOT and business owners have been continuously communicating with each other to talk about the specifics of the project.
“That’s going to be nice for the businesses so they know what’s going on instead of them having to call councilmembers or city. Sounds like MnDOT is going to do that,” Payne said.
“Now the conversation is more transitioning to how are we going to get that done and more of the impacts now as we start to reach toward that construction start time,” Morgan said.
While MnDOT realizes construction will disrupt the highway, officials are working with the community prepare and minimize the impact.
“There’s some things that we just can’t make better but we can work together to really limit that impact,” Morgan said.
Construction is anticipated to be completed by fall 2024.
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