Completion nearing for Highway 34 road work
Paving will begin on Highway 34 in Park Rapids Wednesday. Crews are finishing the curb and gutter work and adjusting the manhole covers and water valves to accommodate pavers, contractors said Thursday at their bi-monthly progress meeting. Projec...
Paving will begin on Highway 34 in Park Rapids Wednesday.
Crews are finishing the curb and gutter work and adjusting the manhole covers and water valves to accommodate pavers, contractors said Thursday at their bi-monthly progress meeting.
Project supervisor Al Minnerath said crews are still on target to finish before the deer hunting opener Nov. 8.
"I hope so," Minnerath said.
The bituminous paving will take about two weeks to finish, and then crews will attend to the detail work such as sidewalks, sod and landscaping.
The much-awaited entrance off highway 34 to Wal-Mart will be opened once all the paving work is done, Minnerath estimated.
But Minnesota Department of Transportation project supervisor Larry Randall cautioned that once the paving starts, the work will be extremely weather-sensitive. Any rains will cause delays, he said.
Two lifts of asphalt will go onto the north side lane, then a single lift on the south lane, Minnerath said.
Finally, a third lift will be applied to the entire roadway.
Crews will monitor the roadway while the asphalt sets up to make sure drivers don't cut across the hot pavement. It leaves a permanent scar, Minnerath said.
Motorists are also urged not to drive on the oil spread on the roadway just prior to paving. It has a tacky consistency and is not easily removed.
"It doesn't do much for white Cadillacs," Randall said.
During the asphalt paving, business access may be temporarily restricted until the bituminous has cooled, but the delays will be kept to a minimum.
Randall and Minnerath urge motorists to take alternate routes.
Heavy traffic throughout the project has been a headache, the contractors universally agreed. But they've also seen motorists act courteously, allowing trucks to cut into traffic.
And they say there haven't been any accidents on the project since mid-summer.
Once the work is done, traffic counts will be performed on Henrietta Township roads that have been carrying detoured traffic.
Those roads will be patched with asphalt, since they've been serving as alternate routes during most of the roadwork and have cracked from the heavy use.