Next construction project is Highway 16

The Minnesota Department of Transportation held an open house at the Grand Meadow Community Center last Tuesday evening to inform Spring Valley and Grand Meadow area residents of the planned 2019 Highway 16 improvement project. GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE

The proposed 2019 construction project on Highway 16 west of Spring Valley. Minnesota Department of Transportation Map
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Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) representatives Heather Lukes and Anne Meyer answered questions for the public during an open house held in Grand Meadow last Wednesday as MnDOT prepares to upgrade pavement on State Highway 16 between the Interstate 90 exit in Dexter east to Spring Valley. 

Lukes, MnDOT District 6 planning director and project manager, and Meyer, District 6 public affairs coordinator, unrolled a long map that showed the details of the project that will take place next summer and affect traffic as the highway that serves to connect Spring Valley to Highway 63 undergoes a much-needed overhaul. The work zone on the highway runs from Interstate 90 in Dexter to Tracy Road in Spring Valley.

“We’ve gotten complaints regarding the pavement condition and how bumpy it is, complaints from people wondering how soon we might fix it,” Lukes commented. “There’s higher traffic from Spring Valley to Highway 63, and less from 63 to 90, but there are pavement needs and hydraulic needs — there are culverts that need to be replaced.  This project’s design has been worked on for a couple of years, but the planning started six years ago.”

The project overview distributed to open house attendees showed the schedule of roadway improvements would run from May to September in 2019.  Work on Highway 16 includes a bituminous mill and overlay and culvert repairs/replacements.  Additionally, three box culverts (bridges) will be replaced between Highway 63 and I-90.  The programmed construction costs are currently $7.5 million, and bids are slated to be let in January. 

Traffic will be detoured when replacing the three box culvert bridges and culverts.  Traffic from the east will be detoured from Highway 16 onto Fillmore County Road 8 on the north side of Spring Valley near Rack’s Bar and Grill to Mower County Road 2, which comes into Dexter on the north side and winds back to I-90. The detour is estimated to last up to 12 weeks beginning in May.  The detour may be shortened once the culvert replacement work is completed east of Highway 63.  The shortened detour would begin at Highway 63 to County Road 2 to I-90.  The remaining work will be done under traffic.

“The paving from 63 to 90 will not be done until all the culverts are done,” said Lutes. “The project is from May to September, but there will not be a detour the whole time — about the first 12 weeks or so of the project.  Once the paving starts, one lane will be open during the paving operation.  The biggest challenge will be for commuters in the area finding an alternate route during construction season.” 

MnDOT contact information for Lukes and Meyer was also made available during the open house, and Lukes encouraged anyone who has questions to contact them.  To reach Lukes, e-mail, or Meyer at  Meyer may also be reached by phone at 507-286-7730.