Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

News releases

April 6, 2021

Latest news releases

Hwy 71 Sanborn bridge project scheduled to begin week of April 12

WILLMAR, Minn. – The Highway 71 Sanborn bridge replacement project could begin as early as April 12, weather permitting. The existing bridge, located over the Cottonwood River, was built in 1931. The new bridge will be wider with 12-foot driving lanes and 10-foot shoulders. Minor work will take place on the approaches to improve drainage on the bridge, including reshaping the ditches and stream stabilization. New guardrail will be installed.
The Hwy 71 Cottonwood River crossing will be closed during construction and traffic detoured using Brown County Roads 21 and 2, and Hwy 14 (map below). The city bridge on South Main Street will also be closed and detoured during construction.

The project is estimated to cost $3.6 million and be complete by Oct. 30. The contractor is Robert R. Schroeder Construction of Glenwood, Minn. Please note that start and end dates could change due to weather conditions or unforeseeable circumstances, and all traffic impacts may not be known at this time.
For weekly project updates throughout construction, visit mndot.gov/d8/projects/us71sanborn.

Watch for orange cones

Travelers may encounter lane closures or lane shifts, uneven road surfaces, heavy equipment and other unexpected obstacles when driving near work zones. MnDOT asks drivers to: 

  • Slow down when approaching orange barriers or cones
  • Never enter a roadway that has been blocked with barriers or cones
  • Stay alert; watch for workers and slow-moving equipment
  • Obey posted speed limits; fine for a work zone violation is $300
  • Minimize distractions behind the wheel
  • Be patient and plan for delays, especially during peak travel times