SACRED HEART — The Minnesota Department of Transportation is delaying a project to reconstruct U.S. Highway 212 in western Renville County by one year, from 2022 to 2023.

The project calls for reconstructing the highway from Hawk Creek to Renville County Road 6 on the west edge of Renville. It includes rebuilding the highway through the city of Sacred Heart.

The scope of the project is changing, according to information provided to the Area Transportation Partnership for MnDOT District 8 at its meeting on March 5.

MnDOT is planning to add a westbound passing lane just west of Sacred Heart as part of the project, Susann Karnowski, assistant district engineer, told members of the Area Transportation Partnership.

The engineer said MnDOT is also planning to offer two options for rebuilding the highway. Designs will be developed to allow bids for rebuilding the roadway as a concrete or as a bituminous surface. The original plans called for concrete construction.

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The project is being delayed by one year due to a number of issues. The decision to offer options for either bituminous or concrete construction adds to the complexity of the design, and requires additional engineering work to prepare.

Karnowski said additional time is also needed as MnDOT continues its discussions with the city of Sacred Heart about the project.

MnDOT representatives met with City Council members in Sacred Heart earlier this week to continue discussions on the project.

The city had been concerned about the potential loss of parking lanes along a three-block portion of the highway, as well as the choice for a detour route. Sacred Heart City Council member Andrew Stauffer said discussions with MnDOT on the city’s concern have been moving forward and that the parking issues are being addressed.

The project will require extensive excavation on the route within the city. It’s believed the original roadbed built by Work Progress Administration workers still underlies the road.