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Highway, tunnel work continues in Nisswa

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Don’t worry about the orange barrels that popped up last week along Highway 371 in Nisswa. They shouldn’t be there long.

“We didn’t complete the final striping last year because it was too cold,” said Tony Hughes, District 3 resident construction engineer with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). “So they’re working on the ground-in final striping on the job — on crosswalks and things like that.”

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That work will be done as soon as the rain stops.

“We’re waiting to dry out to get that done,” Hughes said. “So then all of the mainline work on the highway should be complete.”

MnDOT crews also continue work on the pedestrian tunnel. Workers were pouring the last of the cap pieces for the retaining walls late last week, weather permitting, and laying the pavers down in the access to the tunnel itself.

“What won’t get done this month probably, is some of the permanent railings on top of the retaining walls won’t be in for awhile yet,” Hughes said, noting the custom railings can’t be measured and fit until all the concrete caps are on. After that, MnDOT will do cleanup and turf establishment, and then the city will undertake a landscaping project at the tunnel site.

MnDOT also will undertake a landscape project along the highway, where there are stakes.

“A lot should be done relatively soon,” Hughes said, though the rain will have to let up first.

An upcoming MnDOT project will involve resurfacing of nine miles of Highway 371 between Pine River and Backus at a total cost of $1.9 million from May to July. Traffic will be reduced to one lane with flaggers and a pilot car. The purpose is to provide a smoother road surface and extended road life.

Nancy Vogt can be reached at nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com. Follow her at facebook.com/PEJNancy and on Twitter @PEJ_Nancy.

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Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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