Road construction was a familiar sight in Fillmore and Houston counties in 2013 and that trend will continue in 2014, although the miles of road affected will be fewer.

Even though the roads under construction will be reduced, there are several significant projects that will have an impact on Rushford, Harmony and Lanesboro as well as commuters from Spring Valley to Rochester.

The local projects are part of the Minnesota 20-year State Highway Investment Plan, which has been finalized and is available online, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. MnSHIP connects the Minnesota GO 50-year vision and policies established in the Statewide Multimodal Transportation Plan to capital improvements on the state highway system.

The 10-year work plan, which runs through 2020, shows several local projects in District 6, one of eight districts of MnDOT.

2014 projects

Most of the area projects on the plan are scheduled for 2014. They include the following.

• Two bridges - 3686 and 3687 - on Highway 16 just west of Lanesboro at a cost of $1.38 million.

• Highway 43 from the south junction with Highway 16 to the Root River bridge in Rushford, a 1.2-mile stretch, at a cost of $3.14 million, will be reconstructed. Municipal improvements in Rushford will also be part of that project.

• Highway 52 from the Iowa state line to 0.1 mile north of County 22 will get a medium bituminous mill and overlay. The cost of the 10-mile stretch, which runs through Canton and to Harmony, is $2.99 million.

• Highway 63 from the T intersection with Highway 16 west of Spring Valley to the south end of the Root River bridge in Stewartville is also scheduled. The bituminous mill and overlay of 10.4 miles will include left turn lanes at County 2 north of Deer Creek and County 1 in Racine. Total cost is $4.34 million.

• Houston County's only project is Highway 26 from the Iowa line to Highway 16 in eastern Houston County. The 21.1-mile bituminous overlay project will cost $5.83 million.

• Winona County's only project is Interstate 90 eastbound from 0.8 miles west of Highway 76 to 0.69 miles west of the County 12 overpass. The 8.4-mile concrete overlay project will cost $9.28 million.

2015 projects

The only project in Houston and Fillmore counties scheduled for 2015 is replacing bridge 5720 near Brownsville in Houston County at a cost of $1.25 million.

An area project that will affect commuters is a bituminous overlay on Highway 63 from 0.1 mile north of Highway 30 in Stewartville to 28th Street Southeast in Rochester. Also scheduled is an interchange reconstruction of Highway 63 and County 16 for airport access improvement at the Rochester Airport.

• Also, 12.2 miles of Interstate 90 from the western part of Winona County into Olmsted County will get a concrete overlay.

2016 projects

Construction moves a little closer to our area in 2016 when bridge 6975 over the south branch of the Root River and bridge 6977 over the north branch near Lanesboro on Highway 250 will be replaced. Total cost is $6.74 million.

That is the only area project in the district, which only has six total projects in 2016.

2017 projects

Major construction returns in 2017 when 3.9 miles of Highway 139 from the Iowa border to the intersection with Highway 52 in Harmony will have a bituminous overlay. Cost is $1.46 million.

Also, three miles of Highway 16 south of La Crescent will get an overlay.

2018 projects

A major project in the area is an overlay on Highway 52 from 0.1 mile north of County 5 in Chatfield to 0.2 miles south of Interstate 90.

2019 projects

Highway 16 from Tracy Road in Spring Valley west to Interstate 90 will get an overlay. The 12.3-mile project will cost $6.11 million.

Also, just north of Stewartville, the northbound bridge on Highway 63 over Interstate 90 will be replaced.

2020 projects

Box culvert 6123 over a stream on Highway 52 just south of Chatfield will be replaced at a cost of $180,096.

Also, just north of Stewartville, another bridge over I-90 will be replaced.

Overall plan

"This plan is the result of extensive collaboration among MnDOT, residents, stakeholders and partners throughout Minnesota," said Charlie Zelle, MnDOT commissioner. "The success of Minnesota's transportation system depends on the coordinated efforts of many public and private providers. The investment priorities outlined in MnSHIP provide a framework for MnDOT's contribution to those efforts."

MnSHIP establishes priorities for spending projected capital revenue on the state highway system, a 12,000-mile network that plays a critical role in supporting the state's economy and quality of life. MnSHIP is a fiscally constrained plan, meaning its planned expenditures must align with expected revenues, which total $18 billion. Meanwhile, projected transportation needs on the state highway system during the next 20 years total $30 billion.

MnDOT considers many factors when setting priorities, including federal and state law, system conditions and public input. Priorities for the next 10 years balance preservation of existing roads and bridges with investments in safety, new connections for multiple modes of transportation, and other projects that advance economic development and quality of life objectives. Investments in the second 10 years focus almost exclusively on preserving existing infrastructure. Even with this focus, the number of roads and bridges in poor condition will more than double, and perhaps triple, within 20 years.

"The investment priorities in MnSHIP illustrate the increasing constraints on highway planning in Minnesota. Growth in construction costs continues to outpace growth in revenue and, as the highway system ages, needs are increasing," Zelle said. "In particular, investments in the second 10 years do not address many system needs."

MnSHIP also outlines the targeted actions and strategies MnDOT will pursue to stretch available revenue and how MnDOT will seek to leverage available revenues to achieve multiple purposes.

To view the final plan, visit the MnSHIP website at