Why was traffic detoured off Highway 14 out by Casey's and McCabe's?

That detour on the east end of town has been somewhat of a hassle. We can all be glad that the remainder of the Highway 14 work through Sleepy Eye will not result in detours, just slight delays and very careful driving. What was that detour for, anyway?

Well, an improvement to the storm sewer in the 12th Avenue and Main Street intersection is underway and was planned to be done in conjunction with the Highway 14 project. As much as I enjoy the engineer’s report at City Council meetings, I actually only understand what is being reported on a very simple level. For this explanation, I turned to Dave Palm of Bolton & Menk—the engineering firm the city uses—the person who gives those reports at council meetings.

Palm provided the following description of the project —

“The goals of the storm sewer improvements being undertaken at the 12th Avenue East and Highway 14 intersection are as follows:

•There is an existing 36 inch storm sewer pipe system located on the south side of the intersection. This pipe system was previously constructed in 2011 as part of the 2011 Snow Property Improvements Project.

•MnDOT and the City desired to extend this pipe to the north side of the highway as part of this current project. With the new highway widening, and the overlay of the highway being performed, now was the time to extend this pipe across the highway.

•MnDOT needs additional storm sewer catch basins/intakes in the north ditch line on both sides of 12th Avenue NE.

•MnDOT and the City need new catch basins at this corner to match the new curb radii of 12th Avenue NE onto the highway. These new catch basins will collect storm drainage from 12th Avenue NE from the north and also a little off Highway 14 from the south.

•For the City, this storm sewer pipe system is now attached to the 18 inch storm pipe from the north that was constructed in 2016-2017 as part of the drainage off the new Sleepy Eye Event Center.

•There will be a 24 inch stubout extending to the west of the catch basin structure in the north ditch. This stubout is for a future MnDOT and/or City pipe extension that would extend west over to the SouthPoint road. This system would eventually help with drainage from the north and the west from that location.

•Funding for the storm sewer improvements at this intersection are being shared by MnDOT and the City.”

In the next couple weeks there will be additional storm sewer work under 12th Avenue NE, which will involve a detour to reach businesses north of the highway.