2020 MnDOT construction season ends in District 8 region with some projects done and others left unfinished

The Minnesota Department of Transportation was busy with a long list of road construction projects this year in the 12-county region in District 8. Weather played a role in getting some projects done, and others needing more time.

Road construction sign
Stock image

WILLMAR — An early spring and an early winter was both good news and bad news for road construction in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation’s 2020 construction program has finished its season in the 12-county area of District 8, which includes Chippewa, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville and Yellow Medicine counties.

“You could say this year’s program came in like a lamb, and went out like a lion,” said Kelly Brunkhorst, District 8 assistant district engineer.

“Most years, construction crews aren’t on the job site until the first or second week of May, while this year most staff were on location in April, and some as early as March. However, October snowstorms and below freezing temperatures threw some challenges at us toward the end,” he said.

“All in all, it was another successful construction season for the district,” said Brunkhorst.


The district had a full schedule of projects which encompassed multiple components, including urban reconstructions, bridge replacements, concrete and asphalt resurfacing projects, slope repairs, accessibility improvements, and culvert repairs.

Bridge maintenance operations, sign replacements and striping projects were also carried out on several highways throughout the district.

Projects completed during the 2020 Construction Program:

  • Highway 12 Litchfield — reconstructed U.S. Highway 12 in downtown Litchfield, which improved lighting and pedestrian accessibility and updated city utilities.

  • Highway 15 Hutchinson — reconstructed downtown Main Street from Second Avenue North to Fifth Avenue South, which improved lighting and pedestrian accessibility, updated city utilities and resurfaced state Highway 15 from Fifth Avenue South to County Road 115.

  • Highway 19 Morton — repaired slope and stabilized state Highway 19 embankment east of Morton.

  • Highway 19/Highway 59 — resurfaced one mile of state Highway 19 and 17 miles of U.S. Highway 59 in Lyon and Yellow Medicine counties.

  • Highway 23 Cottonwood to Granite Falls — resurfaced with concrete 18 miles of state Highway 23 from Cottonwood to Granite Falls, realigned Lyon County Road 9 intersection in Cottonwood and constructed several left-turn lanes.

  • Highway 29 Montevideo — replaced bridge over North Parkway Drive.

  • Highway 59/Highway 14 — repaired slopes and stabilized road embankments at five locations in Lyon, Murray and Redwood counties.

  • Highway 75 Pipestone — replaced bridge over County Judicial Ditch 1.

  • Highway 91 Adrian to Russell — resurfaced Highway 91 from the Nobles/Murray county line to Russell, replaced and repaired culverts, improved pedestrian accessibility in Lake Wilson (shared project led by District 7).

Three projects will carry over into 2021:

  • Highway 12/Highway 40 Willmar — realign U.S. Highway 12 and reconstruct state Highway 40 on the west side of Willmar, construct two roundabouts and two bridges, construct a new rail line, roadwork on the multi-year project is scheduled to wrap up in 2021.

  • Highway 40 Milan Bridge — replace the bridge over Lac qui Parle Lake west of Milan, bridge was opened to traffic July 2 and restoration of the historic riprap will continue into 2021.

  • Highway 75 Madison to Bellingham — resurface 22 miles from Township Road 127 (just north of U.S. Highway 212) to state Highway 7, line culverts, upgrade sidewalks and pedestrian crossings. The paving is complete and the road is open but seal coats and permanent pavement markings will be installed in the spring of 2021.

For project maps, details on the 2020 construction program, and information about upcoming projects, visit .

Carolyn Lange is a features writer at the West Central Tribune. She can be reached at or 320-894-9750
What To Read Next
Get Local