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Highway 371 work in Nisswa to begin soon

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Temporary stoplights are in place. Temporary lanes exist to keep traffic flowing. Orange signs warning of construction are in place. Crews are ready to go.

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As soon as the snow melts and weather permits, work will begin once again on Highway 371 through Nisswa.

Stage 1 was done last year: The realignment of County Road 18 was completed, and trees were removed and lanes widened north of the Hazelwood Drive-Main Street stoplight to prepare for work on Highway 371.

Stage 2 of the $7 million project entails much more:

• One mile of Highway 371 through Nisswa will be reconstructed.

• The Hazelwood Drive-Main Street stoplight will be moved south to the new Highway 371-County Road 18 intersection.

• A pedestrian tunnel will be built where the current stoplight is located.

• The Smiley Road frontage road will be reconstructed with sidewalks, curbs, gutters and storm/sanitary sewer.

When work begins, traffic through Nisswa will shift to one way in each direction on the existing northbound lanes of Highway 371 for construction of the tunnel and the new southbound lanes. Work on the pedestrian tunnel will proceed from the Nisswa Lake side toward downtown.

Traffic will shift to the new southbound lanes once they are completed so the remainder of the pedestrian tunnel and the new northbound lanes can be constructed.

The work is expected to be completed in October. This is a partnership project with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), city of Nisswa and Crow Wing County.

The expected cost for the work to be completed this year is approximately $4.8 million.

Traffic will be single lane in each direction and there will be Nisswa road closures. A temporary stoplight will function at Nisswa Avenue, just north of the current stoplight.

This project will provide improved safety and mobility for motorists and pedestrians, and minimize inconvenience by improving the local road system, according to MnDOT.

Also as part of MnDOT’s 2013 construction schedule, which includes 337 projects totaling $1.1 billion, 7.5 miles of Highway 210 from Baxter to Pillager will be repaired at an expected cost of $2 million. Construction is scheduled to begin in June and conclude in early August. Single-lane traffic with flaggers should be expected. This project will provide a smoother road once completed.

Another project that could affect lakes area full-time and seasonal residents entails resurfacing eight miles of lanes, ramps and shoulders on Interstate 94 from Clearwater to St. Cloud. Delays and long backups during peak travel times are expected as traffic will be single-lane from April to July. The project includes repairing or replacing culverts, guardrails and cable median barriers as well.

This project totals $16.4 million, including $12 million in 2013, and will result in a smoother ride and improved drainage.

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