Summer will be here soon and in order to take advantage of the construction season, so too will the 2021 Summer Infrastructure Project begin to take shape. The city began planning for the 2021 construction project over a year ago with estimates being sought in the Fall of 2020. As part of the April 13, 2021 City Council meeting, approval was authorized for the 2021 Summer Project that will include repairs to streets (chip sealing or sealing of existing streets with fresh oil and granite chips, mill and overlay with 2 inches of new asphalt, and reclaiming which will grind up existing asphalt and repave with 4 inches), replacement of curbs and sidewalks as required by Americans with Disability Act standards, improved or constructed ADA compliant pedestrian ramps for the improved walkability of our community, and the maintenance and construction of additional trails.
Due to the size and scope of the project, construction crews began with sidewalk and curb replacement the week of May 3rd. Alley paving will also begin in May and the total project of street work will last through to September of 2021, weather contingent. Many parts of the community will be affected by the project. Contractors are working to schedule their various portions of the project in order to have the least amount of impact on travel, but the project timeline will span from now through Fall of 2021.
Utility marking crews will begin placing flags for the safety of construction crews so that no interference to utilities will occur. We ask that these safety identification flags be left in place. We understand the inconvenience some of the construction may present and appreciate everyone’s understanding as we work to complete these projects as quickly as possible. Below is a map that highlights the anticipated projects and areas that will be completed. As City staff learn more about the specific project areas and timelines, more project updates will be provided. Paper copies of the approved plan are also available at City Hall and updates will be posted on the city website at www.stcharlesmn.org.
ST. CHARLES, Minn. – Hwy 74 motorists traveling into Whitewater State Park north of St. Charles will be detoured beginning Monday, Feb. 1 for a historic bridge rehabilitation project, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
The construction project is in Whitewater State Park near the south entrance. The road will be closed at the work zone during the project, which is expected to be completed in late October.
The work on the four bridges includes repair of floors and walls. Starting the project in the winter will make the work under the bridge easier as less water will be flowing than when the snow begins to melt in the spring. There will also be soil work and rock placement around the bridges to prevent erosion.
Northbound Hwy 74 motorists trying to access Whitewater State Park should follow the detour route:
- Turn left on Winona County Road 22 west, which turns into Olmsted Country Road 9.
- Turn right on Olmsted Country Road 10 north.
- Turn right on Olmsted County Road 2 east, which turns into Winona County Road 39. This will bring motorists to the north entrance of Whitewater State Park, south of Elba.
The visitor center, camping areas, majority of trails and other amenities can be accessed from the north entrance of Whitewater State Park. Visit their website for contact information and park details.
Environmental Associates Inc. is the prime contractor on the $4.7 million project.
Motorists can find more information on the plans and sign up for email updates at the MnDOT project website.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation urges travelers to always drive with caution, and reminds everyone to:
- Slow down when approaching every work zone, then navigate through with care and caution.
- Stay alert; work zones constantly change.
- Watch for workers and slow moving equipment.
- Obey posted speed limits. Fine for a violation in a work zone is $300.
- Minimize distractions behind the wheel.
- Be patient; expect delays, especially during peak travel times.
- Crews continue to follow the guidance of state and federal health officials to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
For state highway road conditions in Minnesota, go to the MnDOT road conditions map, call 511 or visit mndot.gov.
To connect with MnDOT information, news and updates in southern Minnesota, visit: