MnDOT held an open house at the Sleepy Eye Event Center to answer questions about their upcoming pavement preservation project on Highway 14.

Last Thursday evening, MnDOT held an open house at the Sleepy Eye Event Center to answer questions about their upcoming pavement preservation project on Highway 14 through Sleepy Eye—scheduled for next summer. The informal meeting, that ran from 5:30 to 7 p.m., was informative for not only the many members of the community who attended, but also for MnDOT’s project team, who listened to concerns and will make some adjustments based on those concerns.

On hand from MnDOT to answer questions and describe the project were Project Manager Robert Jones, Design Engineer Andrew Lawver and Traffic Engineer Brett Paasch. Representing the City of Sleepy Eye was civil engineer David Palm of Bolton and Menk, and myself.

The project is to begin on or after May 21 and should last for about three months. There will be one planned detour, for hopefully only a one-week duration, to extend a storm sewer line across Highway 14 at 12th Avenue East. The detour will run up 12th Avenue to Cedar Street, west to 6th Avenue and back south to Highway 14.

The project is mostly a bituminous, or asphalt, overlay of the existing concrete highway surface, but also includes new curb and gutter where needed—mostly in the downtown area, new pedestrian ramps and new flatter sidewalks where needed.

Center and right-hand turning lanes will be added at the 12th Avenue intersection on the east side of town and a center turning lane will be added in the downtown area. This should help a great deal with traffic flow.

The RRFB (pedestrian flashers) at First Avenue will remain and a second set will be added to Highway 4 North at St. Mary’s Street for the crosswalk to the lake trail. All of the comments I heard about the RRFBs at the open house were positive. Of course, that doesn’t mean that every single person in Sleepy Eye is in love with them, but as we get used to them most of the comments are positive.

If anyone has questions or concerns about the highway project, please let me or anyone involved with the project know. Road construction can be a bit challenging, but it will be awesome when it is completed.