Tribune Opinion: These bridge projects are good safety investments
The construction start of the Kandiyohi County Road 5 bridge is a positive in addressing the highest accident zone in the Minnesota Department of Transportation's District 8. The $3 million bridge project will take a significant step forward next...
The construction start of the Kandiyohi County Road 5 bridge is a positive in addressing the highest accident zone in the Minnesota Department of Transportation's District 8.
The $3 million bridge project will take a significant step forward next week as the construction crew will complete the setting of beams for the bridge, weather permitting.
Highway 23 motorists should expect some delays when the beams are being put in place. Traffic will not be allowed through the construction site in both directions when the beam placement is occurring. MnDOT estimates the delays will be about 15 minutes.
The primary purpose of the County 5 bridge project is to improve traffic flow and increase safety for drivers along Highway 23 and County 5.
When the project is completed, MnDOT projects the new road configuration will relieve traffic volume pressure at the 23/5 intersection and improve the motorist safety of vehicles making turns in the area.
Our compliments to MnDOT and Kandiyohi County for moving this project toward completion in 2017.
A second project in the area is the County Road 55 bridge proposal over the BSNF Railway line to Marshall. Kudos to the Kandiyohi County Board for making the correct decision to invest in the completion of the overpass design for the project, which will build a bridge over the south end of the BNSF Railway bypass corridor.
The preliminary bridge design work is estimated at $605,000 and the county is investing the necessary budget to facilitate the planning stage and ultimately the completion of the project.
Kandiyohi County has been discussing the need for constructing a bridge on County 55 over the tracks at the south end of the railroad bypass corridor. This bridge would eliminate an at-grade crossing of BNSF tracks just before County 55 connects with Minnesota Highway 23.
The County 55 bridge overpass was not included in the original railroad bypass funding package, which leaves the county in search of the estimated $7 million needed for this project's construction.
The county paying for the preliminary bridge design now is a worthwhile investment in completing the planning and being ready once an appropriate funding plan for construction is developed.
The county is reviewing multiple funding concepts, including a county option sales tax or tapping its road and bridge fund.
This is just another positive step toward completion of the Willmar Wye project, a public-private effort.
Project partners include the Minnesota Department of Transportation, BNSF Railway, the city of Willmar, Kandiyohi County, the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission and the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Railroad Administration.
Good things are happening in Willmar and Kandiyohi County in 2017.