BAXTER -- Just when you thought you were out of the woods another barrier crops up with the Highway 210 project.
Jamie Hukriede, Minnesota Department of Transportation project engineer, said this morning that northbound traffic at Fourth Street Northwest and Washington (Highway 210) will be detoured starting today.
Hukriede said the detour will last about a week and a half to allow Qwest Communications to replace a structurally defective underground utility vault serving the city.
Hukriede said the vault originally constructed did not meet specifications for structural integrity. The vault's design is about 35 years old, said Hukriede.
"We are extremely disappointed to disrupt traffic again, but the structural integrity of the access vault did not meet our specifications or theirs (Qwest) and it must be replaced," said Hukriede.
The vault is located at the Walgreen's corner. The vault, which is made out of concrete, is 14 feet long, 10 feet wide and 7 feet high. It will sit less than 2 feet under the roadway.
Hukriede said before the Highway 210 project began, the vault was behind the curb and gutters and underground on Fourth Street Northwest. With the reconstruction and the widening of the roads, the vault will now be under the roadway.
"We are not concerned about it (the vault) being in the roadway," said Hukriede. "Our concern is traffic safety. Their (Qwest) concern is the protection of the facility."
Hukriede said Qwest, which sub-contracted with Mastec Construction of Hugo to build the vault, also will construct a tunnel access to the vault so it can do its routine maintenance without disrupting traffic on Northwest Fourth Street.
The detour will not affect motorists traveling east and westbound on Highway 210. Motorists who need to travel north on Fourth Street Northwest will be detoured.
Westbound traffic that needs to travel north on Fourth Street Northwest will use Third Street Northwest and James Street. Motorists traveling north on Fourth Street Northwest will be detoured left at Highway 210, north on Fifth Street Northwest, east on James Street and then back to Fourth Street Northwest. Eastbound traffic on Highway 210 will follow the same detour.
The detour will be in effect through Sept. 12, depending on the weather.
Hukriede said the timing of the signal lights at that key intersection in west Brainerd has been altered to assist traffic flow on Highway 210. Once the project is at near end, slated Sept. 24, the signal lights will be operating in sync.
Hukriede said the southbound lanes on Fourth Street Northwest will also then be in full operation. The inside lane will continue to be a left-hand turning lane. The outside lane will be used for left-hand turns, to go straight or to take a right onto Highway 210.
Other construction work taking place is Fairview Drive, in front of Burger King. The road is being torn up and will be reconstructed. Hukriede said by the end of next week those improvements will be done.
Motorists will also see a temporary one-lane of through traffic on Highway 210 right before the intersection of Highway 371 in Baxter for a day or two. Hukriede said a portion of Highway 210 was defective and is failing. The portion of road will be replaced and will meet specifications.
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