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Detours to start Monday as Highway 71 resurfacing project begins

Detours signaling the start of the Highway 71 resurfacing project go into effect Monday.

The 12.5-mile, $7 million project includes construction of turn lanes, culvert repairs and replacements, asphalt reclamation and recycling, shoulder work and surface paving.

The contractor, Central Specialties, Inc., of Alexandria, has pledged to keep detours to a minimum.

During the first phase of construction, traffic will detour northbound out of Menahga.

Traffic will go north on Highway 71, then east on Wadena County 31, then north again on Wadena County 23 to Hubbard County Road 6. Traffic will then head back westbound on Highway 87 to Highway 71.

The second phase of detours is tentatively scheduled from July 30 to Aug. 25. Crews will route traffic from Highway 71 east on Highway 87 to Hubbard County 6, then north to Hubbard County 15 and back west to Highway 71.

Access to local area residences and businesses will be maintained along the detour routes while construction is in progress, but local traffic may be stopped to determine if drivers need to use the access routes.

Project supervisors caution motorists that there will be a platoon of heavy equipment and trucks on the roadway. Since much of the work will be done under traffic, they urge motorists to slow down, heed reduced speed limit signs and watch for workers on the roadways.

Although the $6.8 million project completion date is supposed to be Sept. 19, Central Specialties superintendent Al Minnerath said he plans an Aug. 20 completion date to take advantage of incentives built into the contract.