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MnDOT Announces 2014 Construction Projects

Created: 04/03/2014 5:42 PM KAALtv.com

(ABC 6 News) - MnDOT is planning on 21 different construction projects in southeastern Minnesota this year. A few of those could impact local business owners... especially on one mile long project.

"We'll take a hit to some extent," says Jim Kitchens, owner of the Creamery and Nordic Lanes in Rushford.
    
Kitchens says this summer could be tough on his businesses. That's because the main road, Highway 43, will be completely shut down. That means people heading to the local businesses will have to find a new way to get there.

"We depend largely on groups coming, motorcycle, classic cars, corvette clubs," he says.

But while Kitchens says it'll hit local businesses hard, the work needs to be done, and not just to the roads. The 100 year old pipes below the road also have to fixed or replaced.

"It's the main lines for everything in town and it's really old, there's a lot of things buried under there, they're gonna find some things they probably don't even know exist and hopefully when it's all done we'll have some decent water," he says.

"It's a full reconstruct, they're gonna be ripping out the roadways, sidewalks, curb and gutter from building face essentially all the way through town," says MnDOT Project Engineer Jeff Bunch.

Bunch says says the project will last throughout the entire construction season, which means the road will be out of service from June until next winter. But he says MnDOT will be working with the local businesses.

"Trying to do what we can to help traffic get to them, to the local businesses, a lot of store fronts are not gonna have a road in front of them most of the summer," says Bunch.

As for Kitchens, he hopes he won't be forced to lay off any employees, and the restaurant may have to put signs out to let people they're still ready and willing.

"We're gonna be open for business," he says.