The Minnesota Department of Transportation officially unveiled the road and bridge improvements lined up for this construction season, with six projects slated to take place in the immediate listening area.

MnDOT District 7 Public Affairs Coordinator Anne Wolff says this will be the biggest construction year to date.

“Delivering over 140-million dollars of projects this year. Not long ago we were averaging closer to about 40 to 50-million dollars of construction. As you can see we’ve had a huge uptick in that funding. If it’s there, we obviously want better roads, better bridges, better access for pedestrians and bikes.” 

Work will start next week on the Highway 14/15 New Ulm Gateway project to replace the New Ulm river bridge and reconstruct the interchange. Construction on Highway 22 continues this year south of Mankato with a new roundabout at the intersection with County Road 90. Highway 169 will also be resurfaced this year from St. Peter to Le Sueur and crews will expand Highway 60 to four-lanes from Windom to St. James.

As for projects in the immediate metro, the first will take place this summer with the resurfacing of sections of Highway 14 between Mankato and North Mankato.

“Highway 14 won’t be closed, it’ll just be brought down to a single lane or some detours for the ramps. But yeah, it’s more resurfacing sections of the highway and making some more maintenance and upkeep of the road.”

From approximately August to November, Highway 169 near the Highway 14 interchange will see periodic closures to allow MnDOT to raise the road above the flood level.

“That is one that was added later in the process because of FEMA and that presented some urgency for that project to be be pushed forward and moved along. Obviously that one has a lot more dynamic to it with Mankato and North Mankato being apart of that. That’s a partnership project.”

Around 253 road and bridge projects will take place in 2018.

Forty-nine separate projects totaling 32-million dollars are aimed at making improvements to railroads, airports and ports around the state this year.