Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News Release

April 8, 2020

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Hwy 61 construction work and detour route begins April 14 in Lake City

LAKE CITY, Minn. —Motorists on Hwy 61 in Lake City will encounter a detour beginning Tuesday, April 14 as construction crews start work on the Hwy 61 reconstruction project, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The first detour, Stage 1a, will be in downtown Lake City from E Elm St to E Lyon Ave. Hwy 61, south of the Hwy 61/63 intersection, will be closed. The other three directions will remain open during the Stage 1a detour.

This first detour is different than originally planned. Because of favorable weather conditions and the reduced number of motorists on the road due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rochester Sand & Gravel is starting construction early to potentially accelerate the timeline. This Stage 1a detour was established because the original Stage 1 detour can’t be used until truck load weight restrictions on roads are lifted.

The work will include removing the pavement, excavating contaminated soils and performing utility construction.

Once highway load restrictions are lifted, the original Stage 1 detour will be used and it includes detouring motorists from the south side of Lake City, off of Hwy 61, rejoining the highway again in Red Wing.

The reconstruction of Hwy 61 through Lake City is expected to continue in stages through November to replace pavement and provide a longer-term fix. Some portions of the road are 95-years old. During construction, city utilities will be upgraded and improved. The 4-lane highway will be changed to a 3-lane highway to provide a more uniform, consistent traffic speed through the city. Continuous sidewalks will be completed. Currently 3,300 feet of road in the city are without sidewalks. An off-street trail for bicyclists and green space will be built.

Detours will be in place during the work and will change as the work progress. Residents and businesses will have access to their homes and businesses during construction.

To learn more about the projects or sign up for email updates, go to MnDOT’s construction project website: mndot.gov/d6/projects/hwy61-lakecity-reconstruct or join the SE Minnesota Facebook group (facebook.com/groups/MnDOTsoutheast) to learn more about MnDOT construction projects and activities in southeastern Minnesota. Dick Swenke, the construction public information officer, can be contacted with questions from community members and businesses at 507-259-4059 or dick@swenke@rochsg.com.

For real-time traffic and travel information in Minnesota, visit 511mn.org or get the free smartphone app at Google Play or the App Store.