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Highway 52 Construction to Begin Tonight

Created: 05/02/2014 6:57 PM KAALtv.com
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) --  If you plan to travel on the north end of Rochester this weekend, you may want to avoid Highway 52. Beginning at 10:00 Friday night they'll close down the 55th Street Northwest Bridge over the highway, and that stretch of 52 beneath it will also be blocked off.

  

The 55th Street Bridge crossing over Highway 52 is in constant use. "The driving in this end of town, on a normal day, is quite busy," said driver Ken Dose. That means the road work this weekend, may cause a few headaches. "It's going to make this area delayed and other areas where the traffic then has to go will probably be delayed as well," said Dose.

They're closing the entire crossing this weekend and both the north and southbound lanes of Highway 52 beneath the bridge. "They are going to 'jackhammer' about 2 feet off of the bridge, just drop it down. There will be sand down below, so this concrete will fall down. They'll haul that away," said Mike Dougherty with MnDOT.

It may be a pain for drivers for a couple days, but in the long run…"It's just to improve traffic through there which you can see is a very busy place," said Dougherty.

They're widening this bridge by about 20 feet for motorists... "and then there will be a nice, I believe it's about a 12 foot wide trail, for bikes and pedestrians to come across," said Dougherty.

Closing the area down means crews can get that much more done in a short amount of time. "It's nice when you can close things down like that to do everything safely, get it done, and get the protections back up for motorists," said Dougherty.

"I would imagine the quicker they can do it, it's better for everybody," said Dose.

We spoke to several businesses neighboring the site and they say, since it’s over the weekend, they're not overly concerned. The highway and bridge are scheduled to open back up at 6:00am on Monday just before the morning commute.

Photo: ABC 6 News