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Highway 71 construction starts today; detours begin

Highway 71 construction began this morning.Detours are in place north of Menahga. (Sarah Smith/Enterprise)

Work on the stretch of Highway 71 between Menahga and Park Rapids began this morning.

Detours are in place.

Over the weekend contractor Central Specialties, Inc., moved tons of heavy equipment into the region and began milling asphalt off the main artery bright and early 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.

Traffic will be detoured 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.

Local traffic will be allowed during construction.

Meanwhile, work on an emergency culvert repair on North Highway 71 is underway, snarling traffic near Summerhill Farm on County Road 40.