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Monday will bring changes for Highway 371 motorists

Motorists traveling through Nisswa on Monday, Oct. 7, will encounter working traffic lights at the new Highway 371-County Road 18 intersection.

That traffic lights will be permanent, and the temporary lights at Highway 371 and Nisswa Avenue will be turned off and taken down. However, that intersection will remain fully in use until the highway expands to four lanes in 2018, at which time it will become a right-in, right-out intersection.

That means the motoring public will have two entrances/exits to and from downtown Nisswa from Highway 371: via the traffic lights and County Road 18 roundabout south of downtown, and via Nisswa Avenue just north of downtown.

Work continues on the pedestrian tunnel. Smiley Road in front of Nisswa Square has been redone and parking lot patchwork will follow.

Joe Cameron, Highway 371 project manager with the Minnesota Department of Transportation, said all but the final coat of asphalt is being put on the northbound highway lanes this week.

After lanes are reopened Monday, there will be sporadic lane closures as crews finish final paving and final removal.

Tuesday, Oct. 8, crews will do mill and fill on the very south end of the project so there will be lane closures for about 500 feet of highway, Cameron said.

Starting Wednesday, Oct. 9, crews will remove the temporary lane widenings that were made to accommodate traffic during highway construction. That will result in the temporary shutdown of the outside southbound lane.

Starting Thursday, Oct. 10, crews will begin putting final wearing course on the north end of the highway, where flagmen will control the two-lane portion of highway and lane closures will occur in the four-lane portion of highway.

Cameron said the speed limit on Highway 371 will remain 45 mph just beyond the Sportland Corners traffic lights through Nisswa, so motorists will be traveling at a slower speed when they approach the new stoplights.

The highway project completion date is dependent upon weather, Cameron said, noting crews got a late start last spring because of the weather.

Nancy Vogt can be reached at Follow her on Facebook.