I-94 reconstruction project meetings scheduled

Two February meetings and one March meeting have been scheduled to help explain the traffic impact of the upcoming Interstate 94 reconstruction project.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) will be reconstructing I-94 to address traffic weaving issues between Highway 25 and County State Aid Highway 18 starting in April.
According to an update provided in the Jan. 27 edition of the Council Connection, an online update of current and on-going projects of interest issued by Monticello city staff and department heads, the project will replace the concrete pavement on I-94 and includes widening into the center median, installing a concrete barrier between eastbound and westbound inside lanes, separating the eastbound Highway 25 ramp and loop from mainline traffic with a raised concrete barrier, constructing an eastbound acceleration lane, and constructing a westbound auxiliary lane between the entrance loop at County 18 and exit ramp at Highway 25.
The project also includes reconstructing the pavement for all ramps and loops at the Highway 25 and I-94 interchange and replacing pavement where the County 18 loop ramps tie into I-94.
According to the city, the project will be staged to keep two lanes of traffic in each direction open at all times on I-94. When one of the interchanges, either at Highway 25 or County 18 is closed for ramp and acceleration lane work, traffic will be detoured via Chelsea Road and County 75 to one of the interchanges to access eastbound I-94. MnDOT has indicated that access to westbound I-94 will be detoured to CSAH 75 to the interchange in Hasty, as both the westbound on ramps to I-94 from Highway 25 and CSAH 18 will be shut down.
This proposed plan has raised concerns with city staff and MnDOT is working on a plan to limit the duration that this will occur.  MnDOT will be presenting the project and a detour agreement to council on Feb. 10.
At that time, MnDOT will further explain project staging, ramp closures, traffic impacts and address any questions the council may have. A majority of the traffic impacts and detours are anticipated to take place between May 1 and Sept. 1. City staff and MnDOT have also discussed emergency vehicle access to I-94 when both or either interchanges are closed.
The project contract stipulates that Shafer Contracting Co. will be required to provide access to emergency vehicles at all time. MnDOT has indicated they will provide a passable lane from either interchanges if emergency access is needed or emergency vehicles could turn around outside of the project limits in the I-94 grass median.
Directional signage will be provided to the downtown business area. The following Interstate 94 reconstruction project meetings have been scheduled: Monday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. Monticello City Hall; this meeting will feature presentation of the project to the city council and council consideration of detour agreement approval; Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 7 a.m. at  Monticello City Hall; this informational meeting will feature a presentation of the project to Industrial & Economic Development Committee (IEDC) members and  Monday, March 3, there will be a public informational meeting and open house from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Monticello City Hall.
Shafer Contracting Co. will be at the March 3 meeting to answer questions. Shafer will apply for an interim use permit to perform concrete crushing operations and operate a temporary concrete batch plant located at Shawn Weinand’s property between Chelsea Road and Interstate 94.
This item will be presented and reviewed during a public hearing at the March Monticello Planning Commission meeting and brought forward for council consideration at a March 10 meeting.

Contact Tim Hennagir at tim.hennagir@ecm-inc.com

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