This diagram shows the three phases of the county’s CSAH 1 project.
This diagram shows the three phases of the county’s CSAH 1 project.

"Construction is inconvenient, the road is going to be somewhat of a mess for three years," Fillmore County Engineer Ronald Gregg told adjacent property owners during a meeting held at the Spring Valley Community Center on April 3 to discuss the County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 1 Project.

The project will affect 10.75 miles of the highway and its bridges reaching from the Spring Valley city limits to the county line.

Because the cost of the complete project is estimated to cost roughly $12 million, the work will be done in three stages spread over three years.

The first stage will begin in 2016 and will affect the area between 256th Street up to CSAH 4.

Stage two will be done in conjunction with Olmsted County and is scheduled to begin in 2017. This will include the highway from CSAH 4 to Trunk Highway 30.

The final stage, slated for 2018 will begin at the Spring Valley city limits and run to the Deer Creek bridge.

As the highest traveled county road in Fillmore County, Gregg explained their goal is to make the road much safer.

In order to make this happen, the design, called a 50 mph design, will include 6 to 8 foot shoulders, which will be blacktopped.

The tonnage limit for the highway will be increased to 10,000 tons. With this change the road will be paved with concrete to handle the weight and increase the longevity of the road.

Most importantly, the design will involve flattening out curves and re-grading some of the hills, in order to meet the guidelines for a 50 mph design.

Due to these changes, Gregg explained the need for temporary and permanent easements to the property owners.

"The temporary easement is primarily the property we will need to help build the road they will be a little bit wider to take care of the back slopes and then once that area is completed that easement goes away," Gregg relayed. "The permanent easement is where we have curves that will be flattened out and we are trying to get our 50 mph design speed and wherever we don't have a 100 foot right of way corridor currently."

During their March 25 meeting, the Fillmore County commissioners approved the rates property owners will be paid. Temporary easements will be paid at the rate of 200 percent of the countywide average rental rate. The permanent easements will be paid at the rate of 130 percent of the county's assessed per acre value.

The hope is that by beginning years in advance, the county and property owners will have plenty of time to discuss and review the plans and how they will affect properties and make allowances for any needed modifications to the design.