These signs at the intersection of Highways 55 and 15 will probably remain until the very end of July as 12 miles of Highway 15 will be closed three months for milling, culvert replacement, and repavement. But this is only one of several road construction projects in the area. Check dot.state.mn.us/d3/projects/ for the latest info. Staff photo by Jean Doran Matua.
You just need to plan ahead
By Jean Doran Matua, Editor
Road construction is never a fun process. But it’s a very necessary part of civic life, particularly in Minnesota where weather wreaks havoc on, well, everything.
Highway 55 is the main corridor from Eden Valley, Watkins, Kimball, South Haven, and more, eastward to the Twin Cities. Parts of it will be closed this summer for road work. The corridor from Annandale to Buffalo will have major, road-closing work done this summer. Currently there is a detour on county roads between Annandale and Maple Lake. Soon there will be a detour between Maple Lake and Buffalo.
Highway 15 is the primary lifeline between Kimball, especially, and St. Cloud to the north. Starting May 6, anyone needing to get from here to there has had to find a detour either to the east or to the west. The designated detour is via Co. Rd. 44 east then Co. Rd. 7 north to I-94. MnDOT anticipates that about a third of usual Highway 15 travelers will take this detour. About a third will find other detours. And the other third just won’t go from here to there, regardless of the detours.
The Highway 15 closure is from exactly the north side of the intersection with Highway 55 until just north of the intersection with Co. Rd. 47/136 in St. Augusta (roughly at the Casey’s Store in Luxemburg). All residences and businesses will be accessible during this time. Travel will be permitted between intersecting roads, but not through traffic.
There had been plans for MnDOT to re-do Highway 15 right through downtown Kimball in 2020. That project has been postponed now until the summer of 2021. The highway through town (a.k.a. Main Street) will be narrowed in order to slow traffic through town. Water and sewer lines are scheduled to be worked on at that time as well, while the road is torn up.
Maine Prairie Township plans to pave several roads this season. And counties have several road projects scheduled as well, including Co. Rd. 48 (which some may be using as a detour).
Yes, you can still get from here to there. Advance planning, careful driving, and patience will be required, however.