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70th Street to be repaved in Cottage Grove; closures begin in May

Washington County and Cottage Grove will repave 70th Street this spring, starting in May. (Submitted photo)

As soon as the snow melts away, construction equipment will appear on 70th Street for a full repaving project from Highway 61 to Hinton Avenue.

The project is being phased over the next several years, with pavement management, traffic signal, trail and retaining wall improvements on that stretch taking place this spring and summer.

When the first stretch is complete, the new pavement will stop just short of Hinton Avenue to lead into 2019 construction of a roundabout at that intersection.

The stretch of 70th Street will be closed from May to July, with Hinton Avenue, 80th Street and Highway 61 as a detour route. In August, 70th Street from Highway 61 to Meadowgrass Avenue will open to allow for a detour for a 65th Street project, said project engineer Frank Tickner at a Feb. 1 city council workshop.

At some point, Hinton to Jamaica Avenue will be repaved as well, though it will not be for the next five to 10 years. In 10 to 15 years, the county also expects to build out a four-lane highway on that road as traffic volume increases.

Right turn lanes will return to Hardwood and Grenada avenues. The county will also widen 70th Street and usable shoulders where they are able, Tickner said.

During the project, there will also be upgrades to trails, traffic signals and retaining walls, project manager Nik Costello said.

The traffic light at Hardwood and Meadowgrass avenues will be changed from the hanging wire lights to a permanent steel system, Costello said. The Highway 61/ 70th Street interchange lights were renovated in 2016.

A new trail will be built on the southside between Goodview and Meadowgrass avenues, along with repairs to the failing retaining walls along the trail west of Goodview Avenue, Tickner said. The wall, currently wooden, will be upgraded to a colored concrete barrier.

The county is shooting for Labor Day to have the entire road back reopened for motorists.

Utility work could start earlier than May if the ground thaws, Tickner said.

The total project cost is near $4.3 million, with Cottage Grove paying $420,000 of the cost.

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