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Hwy 10 work to begin this month

Highway 10: The Realignment. It's the project that Detroit Lakes residents have been both anticipating, and dreading, since discussion of it first began a couple of years ago.

And it's almost upon us. Starting late this month, earthwork and bridge construction for the relocation of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad tracks will begin.

Also planned to begin this summer is the installation of signal lights at the intersection of Highway 59 and Highway 34, just north of Highway 10.

"By this fall, that will be a fully signaled intersection," said Tom Swenson, Highway 10 project manager, during a public informational open house held Thursday at Minnesota State Community & Technical College in Detroit Lakes.

"During construction, that intersection will operate as a four-way stop," he added.

Overall, however, the impact of the Highway 10 project on this summer's traffic flow will be minimal, Swenson noted.

"Roosevelt Avenue will be closed from May 5-11, and Kris Street will be closed for one week in July," he said.

This is because most of the work for the realignment of the railroad and construction of the railroad bridge over Roosevelt Avenue will be done off-street, Swenson added.

The majority of the traffic impact will be seen next year, when completion of the railroad relocation and Roosevelt Avenue underpass construction will take place.

Also in 2007, the intersection of county roads 54 and 53 will be moved approximately 200-300 feet to the east, and construction of two new traffic lanes on the Highway 10/59 railroad bridge will begin.

The biggest impacts of the Highway 10 project, however, will be felt at the Roosevelt Avenue and Criss Street intersections.

"Roosevelt will be closed from April to the fall of 2007," Swenson said. "The Kris Street crossing will be closed from April to August."

To ease some of the traffic strain on the remaining intersections, however, the Lake Avenue railroad crossing and Highway 10 intersection will remain open until work on Washington Avenue is completed in 2008 -- after which the Lake Avenue intersection will be permanently closed.

This Thursday's open house will most likely be repeated next spring by Minnesota Department of Transportation officials, Swenson noted, as 2007 is going to be the biggest construction year of the four-year project.

Ultimately, the Highway 10 realignment will bring several benefits to the community, according to MnDOT. They include:

• Reducing the number of at-grade railroad crossings;

• Improving local circulation in Detroit Lakes;

• Providing safer crossing for school buses and emergency services vehicles;

• Providing safer bicycle and pedestrian crossing;

• Reducing traffic congestion;

• Improving water quality.

All of these benefits are aimed at improving traffic safety in and around the Detroit Lakes community.

For more information, visit the MnDOT project website at, or call the MnDOT District 4 offices in Detroit Lakes at 218-847-1583.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454