Highway 75 road work starts soon
Highway 75 (Kniss Street) in Luverne will be under construction from May 11 to early September with a short in-town detour at the start of the project.
To prepare business owners and residents along that route, the city of Luverne hosted a preconstruction meeting Tuesday night, April 21, in Luverne City Hall.
The meeting, which attracted about 30 people, addressed the staging of the project, detour routes and projected timing of the project.
Project engineer Gary Kurth, with DGR in Rock Rapids, conducted the meeting and used a Google Earth map on projector to illustrate the course of the construction.
He said the most inconvenient part of the project, replacing the Poplar Creek culvert, will occur first.
Even though detour signs will be set several blocks away, “through traffic” will be allowed to business up to the “hard closure” where the culvert is located.
The hard closure will be between the south corner of the McClure Plumbing and Heating property and the northeast corner of the Herman Motors construction site.
The estimated time of the hard closure could be four weeks, depending on weather and circumstances.
In addition to replacing the culvert, workers will bury two major infrastructure lines under the culvert — a water main and a gas line.
That work will be done in addition to tearing out pavement, removing the box that’s there, replacing rip rap and other necessary work.
Kurth said traffic can be allowed through once a soft surface (gravel) is replaced, but he assured affected businesses in that area that he’d communicate with them about closures and timeframes for reopening.
Business owners particularly concerned about the detour were Joel Herman, who is expecting semi-loads of car deliveries in June, and Nate Golla, who said 90 trucks per day enter and exit the Farm Store property.
Kurth said he would work with them on possible truck detour routes in order to keep traffic patterns moving smoothly.
He also told some concerned business owners, such as the Cozy Rest Motel owners, that temporary business would be allowed in order to remind motoring customers where the businesses are and that they’re open for business.
He said traffic wouldn’t be detoured at I-90 and that the exit and entrance ramps to Luverne wouldn’t be closed at any time.
The official detour is east on Hatting to Freeman, then north to Warren and back west to Highway 75.
One message Kurth repeated throughout the meeting was that he and the contractors would work to make sure all businesses had access of some kind to and from their property.
One exception is a storage facility owned by Al Aanenson, and Kurth asked him, “How well do you get along with your neighbor, Opsata?”
Aanenson smiled and said he did and that he’d work with Opsata to come and go through that adjacent property.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Kurth provided an overview of the construction, which will affect Highway 75 from Interstate 90 to the north city limits.
The project consists of a variety of work including:
•Resurfacing (mill and overlay) from I-90 to Main Street
•Seal coating from Main Street to north city limits
•Replacing a box culvert between Harrison Street and Edgehill Street over Poplar Creek (this is the detoured area)
•Water main work north of Harrison St. to Main St.
•Sidewalk improvements for accessibility
•Revised signal at Main Street
•Restriping from four lanes to three lanes (one lane each way with center lane for left turns)
The $2.7 million project is a partnership between the city of Luverne and the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
Business owners and residents at the meeting were asked to provide their cell phone and email contact information in order to alert them to water shut-offs, detours and other interruptions.
“We’re going to try to keep everyone informed, and would like to communicate with you instantaneously via text or email,” said City Administrator John Call.
Duininck Incorporated of Prinsburg was awarded the contract.