By Bruce Karnick
The Minnesota Department of Transportation has two projects that will impact Hastings. The first is the work being done on the Highway 61 bridge deck. MNDoT issued a press release for work that will be occurring on the Highway 61 Bridge in Hastings.
Lane closures begin August 1 on Highway 61 over the Mississippi River in Hastings.
Northbound Highway 61 will be reduced to a single lane once southbound work is complete.
Motorists traveling on Highway 61, will encounter lane closures over the Hastings Bridge in Hastings beginning Monday, August 1.
Beginning at 6 a.m., Monday, August 1, southbound Highway 61 will be reduced to a single lane over the Mississippi River between Highway 10 and Fourth Street.
Once the crews complete work on the southbound side of Highway 61, on approximately August 10th, northbound Highway 61 will be reduced to a single lane in the same area to complete the project.
These lane closures are needed as crews resurface the bridge deck as part of scheduled maintenance on the bridge.
Note the Mississippi River Bike trail adjacent to the bridge will also be closed weekdays while work is completed on northbound Highway 61.
All lanes are expected to reopen by August 20th, 2022.
The second project affecting Hastings traffic is the Red Wing end of Highway 316. Construction has begun on the intersection of Highway 61 and 316 as of July 18. This construction project is to build a roundabout in place of the current high conflict intersection. Stage one is expected to last into early September.
As part of stage one, crews have closed the connection of 316 to 61 to build the temporary bypass for Highway 61. The detour for the entire construction period connecting Hastings and Red Wing is Highway 61. Once the bypass is complete, 316 will open again early August through September while the roundabout construction begins. The 130th Street side of the intersection will be closed for 810 weeks. Late September 316 will close again at the construction site for approximately one month, to allow crews time to construct the northern portion of the roundabout.
The roundabout is a huge addition to the very busy regional travel route for Goodhue and Dakota Counties. The intersection of Hwy 316 and 61 connects commuters, communities and commerce from the Twin Cities to southeast Minnesota along the Mississippi River. An evaluation was done along the route from Hastings to Red Wing to identify safety and traffic flow improvements. The roundabout will slow traffic at the intersection and reduce the conflict points making the transitions from one road to the next much safer and smoother. It will also reduce the danger of any crashes, especially the side impact kind.
Detour graphic provided by the Minnesota Department of Transportation