Road construction impacting Highway 52 this summer

Published: May. 10, 2022 at 7:01 PM CDT
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SOUTHEAST, Minn. (KTTC) – Construction season in Minnesota is now in full swing just in time for summer travel.

One stretch of road causing headaches for travelers is Highway 52 between Cannon Falls and the Zumbrota area.

Drivers should be prepared for slow downs, single lane roads and lane shifts throughout the summer as construction is complete.

Highway 52 near Hader
Highway 52 near Hader(free to use)

We spoke with the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to learn more about the projects happening and how long work is expected to last.

There is a lot of work along this stretch of road including a bridge reconstruction, road replacement and a new interchange.

“When we take four lanes of traffic and squeeze it down to two, that’s where we get the slow downs,” MnDOT District 6 Spokesperson Mike Dougherty said.

Between Rochester and the Twin Cities, drivers will encounter a 13 mile stretch of slow downs on Highway 52 this spring and summer, including bridge reconstruction near Zumbrota.

Bridge replacement happening near Zumbrota
Bridge replacement happening near Zumbrota(free to use)

“South of Zumbrota, we’ll be demolishing the southbound bridge,” Dougherty said. “So, traffic there is doing sort of a crossover before you get to Zumbrota.”

Dougherty says there are a lot of moving parts.

“We’re building the interchange here at Highway 57 and Highway 52 in Hader,” Dougherty said. “And right now there are over on the northbound side, they have to build that bridge because at the interchange, Highway 57 is going to go under Highway 52. Once they’ve got that built, somewhere mid-July they’ll switch over to the southbound side.”

Parts of Highway 52 is also getting a facelift.

“And then as they get north, all the way up to County Road 1, which is south of Cannon Falls, there’s another work zone and that’s where they’re reconstruction all of the southbound lanes,” Dougherty said. “Essentially south of Cannon Falls, and this will go into next year, all the way just north of Zumbrota.”

MnDOT says the new interchange in Hader was highly requested by the public and a matter of safety.

New interchange being constructed on Highway 52 at Hader
New interchange being constructed on Highway 52 at Hader(free to use)

“This is a busy section, because you get people commuting, coming up this way; people coming home, going down. It just makes it more predictable and safer,” Dougherty said.

Construction work on the nearly $70 million project is expected to wrap-up by late October, early November.

The bridge replacement is scheduled to finish earlier, in August or September.

You can learn more about the project, see detour routes, and learn about several other road construction projects happening across southeastern Minnesota here.

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