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Highway 55 project making progress

Traffic on Highway 55 in Douglas and Pope counties remains detoured during a reconstruction, resurfacing and bridge replacement project that began on May 10.

Motorists are being detoured on Highway 27, Interstate 94 and Highway 29 while Highway 55 is closed between Hoffman and Glenwood. In late July, the detour will be reduced to Highway 27 and Douglas County Road 1 while crews complete work between Hoffman and Kensington.

The work on the section of Highway 55 between Highway 28 and Highway 29 in Glenwood was completed in late May.

Crews have completed milling and reclaiming the 22.6 miles of roadway. During the reclamation process the existing pavement was recycled on-site and used as a foundation for the new surface of the road, resulting in cost savings and a longer pavement life.

This project also features reclaimed base test sections west of Kensington. Various products are being applied to the reclaimed base this week. These additives allow for a four-inch bituminous overlay, one inch thinner than the five-inch overlay that will be applied to the remaining 18.5 miles of the project. Mn/DOT will monitor the test sections to determine how the different additives affect the pavement strength, stability and durability.

The Chippewa River bridge replacement portion of the project east of Hoffman began Monday, and the bridge demolition began Wednesday. Rock boulders and stream barbs will be added to the river near the bridge area, aiding in the prevention of erosion and stabilization of the stream bank.

Central Specialties Inc. is the prime contractor for the $8.1 million improvement project, which is scheduled to be completed by Sept. 3, weather permitting. Upon completion, the improvements to Highway 55 will provide a safer roadway with better conditions.

During construction and road maintenance work, Mn/DOT urges drivers to:

--Check 511 for up-to-date information about traffic and road conditions.

--Stay alert, expect the unexpected.

--Never enter a road that has been blocked with barriers or cones.

--Minimize distractions.

--Don't use cell phones.

--Remember text messaging while driving is illegal.

--Don't eat or drink while driving.

--Be patient. Expect delays, especially during peak travel times.