A road by any other name - Highway 27 awaits changes
Planned changes to state, county and city roadways could affect the traffic flowing through Osakis.
When a Minnesota Depart-ment of Transportation (MnDOT) project is completed, Highway 27 will be converted to County Road 82 and Highway 27 will be rerouted around Osakis.
This spring, Ron Klein-schmidt, former Osakis public works superintendent, in-formed the Osakis City Council that the state and county were working on changing Highway 27, which runs through down-town Osakis, to County Road 82. Highway 27 would then follow Highway 127 to Interstate 94 west of Alexandria and con-tinue on Highway 27.
Kleinschmidt said Highway 127 was added as part of a long-range plan.
According to an agreement between Douglas County and MnDOT, Highway 27 will con-sist of two sections; one from Interstate 94 to Highway 29 and the second from Nokomis Street in Alexandria to High-way 127 in Osakis. The remain-ing area will be retained as Highway 29. The portions out-side of Alexandria will be re-leased into Douglas County's county state aid highway (CSAH) system. MnDOT and the county will be making re-pairs to Highway 27.
MnDOT has agreed to fund a mill overlay for Interstate 94 to Highway 29; construct left turn lanes at Liberty Road and East Lake Jessie Road south of the Geneva Golf Club in Alexandria; and make Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) im-provements in Osakis. Planned ADA improvements include reconstruction of pedestrian ramps at the intersections to adhere to current standards.
After MnDOT releases por-tions of Highway 27, the sec-tions will become CSAH routes and the state will provide a $1 million lump sum payment from county turnback funds. Douglas County will then des-ignate the sections as additions to the county's CSAH system.
Douglas County public works director and county engineer Dave Robley explained that the lump sum payment is based on work that will be needed in the future and that no work is planned to be completed on Highway 27 prior to MnDOT turning it back to the county.
Once Highway 27 is trans-ferred to the county and be-comes CSAH 82, the county plans to use funds to repair a section of broken concrete near Smith Lake Road, Robley said.
Douglas County and the city of Alexandria have plans to transfer ownership of additional roads. Evaluations have been done to establish which repairs are necessary to restore roads to acceptable conditions.
Douglas County will complete improvements or pay the city for the following improvements: overlay of CSAH 44 from CSAH 22 to CSAH 42 prior to turnback, provide $680,000 lump sum payment for the city to reclaim and overlay County Road 70, overlay and construct turn lanes on the north/south portion of County Road 106 pri-or to turnback, reconstruct bridge on County Road 111 at the Geneva/L'Homme Dieu channel prior to turnback, pro-vide $100,000 lump sum to the city for reclamation and over-lay of County Road 111, desig-nate 3rd Avenue from CSAH 22 to Broadway as CSAH 82 and designate 34th Avenue from Highway 29 to railroad and McKay Avenue from approxi-mately 9th Avenue to Highway 27 as CSAH 46.
Robley said the county is planning to use funds from MnDOT to pay the city so it fits in the budget to be completed this year.
The city of Alexandria has agreed to designate the sec-tions as additions to the city's system and agreed with the county's action.
While a completion date has not been established, the trans-fer of roadways between state, county and city is intended to conclude by winter.
Crystal Dey Crystal Dey is a staff reporter for the Echo Press. Originally from Minnesota's Iron Range, Dey worked for newspapers in North Dakota, Florida and Connecticut before returning to her home state to join the Echo Press in October 2011. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Staff Reporter Crystal Dey on Twitter at @CrystalDey_Echo.