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A massive road construction project along parts of Highway-52 is scheduled to start this week, and it could lead to some delays in our neck of the woods.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) announced its new construction projects for 2022 a few weeks ago (with a whopping 230 of them across the Land of 10,000 Lakes) and get ready to see a lot of those orange barrels here in our neck of the woods in southeast Minnesota.

Actually, if you've driven along Highway-52 north of Rochester between Zumbrota and Cannon Falls in the last week or so, you've already no doubt seen some of those orange barrels along the side of the road. That big project was actually set to start on Monday, April 4th, but Mother Nature threw rain, snow and even severe weather at us the last two weeks and MnDOT held off on starting that project as planned. Now, though, crews are getting ready to start work again-- weather permitting-- sometime this week (April 18th.)

This year is the second year of that massive three-year project, and while last year, it was mainly prep work that took place, this year there will be multiple stretches of Highway-52 that are scheduled to be down to a single lane in each direction-- with the possibility of traffic back-ups during especially busy times. (Which is just what you want when you're heading to or from the Twin Cities, am I right?!? <---- note the sarcasm font)

Here's MnDOT's plan for the 2022 construction season on Highway-52:

  • This project will reconstruct the southbound Hwy 52 lanes beginning 2.2 miles south of Hwy 19 in Cannon Falls and proceeding south to 1.2 miles north of Goodhue Co. Rd. 7 with access control improvements.
  • The bridges at the junctions of Hwy 60 (west) and Hwy 60 (east) near Zumbrota will be replaced. As well as the replacement of the Hwy 52 southbound bridge and rehabilitating the Hwy 52 northbound bridge over the Zumbro River.
  • A new interchange will be constructed to replace the existing at-grade intersection at Hwy 52 and Hwy 57 / Goodhue Co. Rd. 8 (Hader Interchange).
  • Additional safety and access management measures will be implemented on the corridor including new frontage roads, reduced conflict intersections (RCIs) and construction of a new Goodhue Co. Rd. 14 connection on the north end of the project near Cannon Falls.

You can read more details about which sections will be down to single lanes HERE. The entire project isn't expected to be complete until 2023 (?!?!), so remember to pack your patience as you head up Highway-52 to the Cities and back this spring and summer!

And while sitting in a traffic back-up due to road construction can be annoying, at least we'll be able to drive on a brand new road when it's done. Unlike the following intersections in Rochester, which are just plain annoying all the time. Keep scrolling to check 'em out!

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