Hwy 14 lane closures at Owatonna start May 1, I-35 ramp closure to follow
OWATONNA, Minn. – Lane closures on Highway 14 between Interstate 35 and Steele County Road 45 will occur May 1 as crews prepare to replace two bridges on this stretch of highway south of Owatonna, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
Later in the week, the northbound Interstate 35 off-ramp to Highway 14 east at Owatonna will close and traffic will be detoured. Motorists traveling northbound on I-35 to eastbound Hwy 14 will be detoured. The detour route involves three traffic ramp loops: Hwy 14 west ramp to the I-35 south ramp to the Hwy 14 east ramp to connect with eastbound traffic.
Traffic on Hwy 14 will travel in single lanes in each direction in the westbound lanes during construction.
The traffic changes are part of an overall project south of Owatonna where 10 bridges will be replaced over two years on I-35 (six bridges) and Hwy 14 (four bridges).
Meanwhile traffic on I-35 south of Owatonna continues to travel in single lanes in each direction in the northbound lanes. Southbound lanes are closed until mid-September while three bridges are replaced. The Straight River Rest Area for southbound traffic is closed during construction. The northbound rest area is under construction and is expected to open later in the summer.
Traffic backups are likely on I-35, especially on weekends. Motorists can decrease traffic backup dangers and move more efficiently through a merge point by using both lanes of traffic while approaching the merge. To learn more, to go MnDOT’s website on the “zipper merge” www.dot.state.mn.us/zippermerge/.
MnDOT has signs posted 10 miles out warning of the potential of I-35 traffic backups and will have flashing signals activated when backups are occurring to alert drivers of slower moving or stopped traffic ahead.
On I-35, bridges over the Straight River, Turtle Creek and the Union Pacific Railroad are being replaced. On Highway 14, bridges over the Straight River and the Union Pacific Railroad are being replaced. Bridges southbound on I-35 and eastbound on Highway 14 are being replaced in 2017. The adjacent northbound and westbound bridges will be replaced in 2018.
Lunda Construction Company is the prime contractor for the $29.6 million project.
Motorists interested in more information about the project, may visit the MnDOT project website at www.dot.state.mn.us/d6/projects/steelecty-bridge/ and sign up for email updates on the project.
Motorists should always be attentive, drive with caution, slow down in work zones and never enter a road blocked with barriers or cones. For real-time traffic information in Minnesota, call 511, visit www.511mn.org.