Construction Projects Lead to Big Detours

Created: 06/03/2014 6:06 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- If you've been traveling south of Stewartville, you've probably noticed some major detours. That's because Highway 63 is closed from there, all the way to Spring Valley. Starting Tuesday, another big highway was closed off. This one, just west of Lanesboro.
"Saturday nights we're looking down the road, hoping people can find their way," said Randy Queensland, one of the owners of Deer Creek Speedway. Summer is the time for business at Deer Creek Speedway, but right as their racing season is getting started, so is construction season.
"They're repaving Highway 63 through Stewartville south to Highway 16," said Mike Dougherty with MnDOT. They're doing that and also replacing culverts, so that 12 mile stretch of Highway 63 is currently shut down. Deer Creek Speedway is smack dab in the middle of it all.
"It's definitely a challenge. We're very concerned. We've got a bridge out a half mile south of us and a mile north of us," said Queensland. He says their phone's been ringing off the hook, with races goer's wondering how to get around it. "They are definitely frustrated, but again, most of them have understood what's going on and what it'll be like when it'll be done," he said.
"I think there has been some concern. I haven't heard necessarily if they've seen drop off ( in business), but I know they've done good work in contacting their customers and being good business people," said Dougherty.
Businesses near Lanesboro, be prepared for a similar situation. Road work on Highway 16 between Preston and Lanesboro just started. "We're doing a bridge replacement, so obviously there's a big hole in the road. We can't let people through," said Dougherty.
Despite some concern from travelers, those we spoke with along the construction routes say they understand it needs to be done. "They're working long hours and big days doing it and we're pretty pleased with that, so we think we'll weather the storm," said Queensland.
If you plan to travel in those areas, MnDOT officials suggest using their "511" app, or head to the website,, before you get into the car and go. It'll show you which roads are blocked off and which detours will get you there the fastest.

Photo: ABC 6 News