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This year brings the most construction projects in county’s history

Now that spring has sprung, Minnesotans generally know what comes next: road construction season. And Washington County is ready for the coming months.

Like communities and counties around the state, Washington County has a full slate of road construction projects for 2016. In fact, County Engineer Wayne Sandberg said, this year brings the most projects in the county's history.

The spring and summer months will bring seven pavement rehabilitation projects—mainly in the mid to north section of the county—that will cover 18 miles of county and state aid highways. In addition, 25 miles of roadway in the county is scheduled for crack sealing.

The county also has 18 highway construction projects scheduled, as well as five reconstruction projects, two new roundabouts, four new traffic signals, nine revised traffic signals, three turn lane projects, one trail project and one project addressing overhead signs, and installation of a fiber-optic line.

While the construction projects are at locations throughout the county, several are of local interest:

• Point Douglas Regional Trail: Construction on the 2.6-mile trail linking Point Douglas Park to Highway 61 in Denmark Township is scheduled to begin in May and conclude in September. The project includes grading, trail, retaining walls, storm sewer, ADA improvements and striping.

• County Road 22 roundabout: Located at the intersection of 70th Street (aka County Road 22) and Jamaica Avenue in Cottage Grove, the project includes a roundabout, path, sidewalk, lighting, striping, and irrigation. Construction will start in April and is expected to be complete in August.

• County Road 22 and Highway 61: The project includes two intersections—County Road 22 and Highway 61, and County Roads 22 and 38—both in St. Paul Park. Flashing yellow arrows, pedestrian countdown timers, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) pedestrian ramps and better signal timing are scheduled in this project. Construction will begin in July, and end in September.

• County Road 21 in Afton: Construction begins in May on what will be a two-year road reconstruction project through downtown Afton. The project will run along County Road 16/21 from River Road to Bridge No. 82517 over Valley Branch Creek. Due to the extensive work planned, the Afton project will take two full construction seasons and is scheduled for completion in November, 2017.

• County Road 15, Phase 1: Just 1 mile north of Woodbury is project that will be constructed in three phases, and make safer the intersection of county roads 10 and 15, just north of Oak-Land Junior High. The project will include a reconstruction of the intersection, including the installation of traffic signals and addition of turn lanes. The project is scheduled to start in May and continue through September.

• County Road 13: A project planned for 2016 was the installation of overhead traffic signs along Radio Drive (aka County Road 13) in Woodbury. The project might be put on hold until 2017.

With the rest of the projects planned this year, Sandberg said 2016 will be a busy year. But, he added, it is likely a sign of things to come.

"We don't see this tide shifting," Sandberg said. "This is going to continue."

Sandberg and County Assistant Engineer Corey Slagle presented the project schedule to the Washington County Board of Commissioners at a workshop earlier this month.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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