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Updated: Washington County to reopen two Cottage Grove roads ahead of schedule

A partial opening of roads near the new six-legged roundabout should help relieve congestion along Jamaica Avenue. Submitted photo courtesy of Washington County Public Works

Drivers, you may exhale now.

After a long summer of delays and detours, the refurbishment of two key roads in Cottage Grove has advanced far enough for them to reopen ahead of schedule.

Barriers came down Sept. 9 at the intersection of Hinton Avenue and 70th Street, restoring full access to and from Highway 61 on 70th Street.

That same day, East Point Douglas Road reopened from Wal-Mart to County Highway 19. That particular stretch, also known as Innovation Road, will be open in both directions to 90th Street. There is still no access to Highway 61 or East Point Douglas Road south of County Highway 19, however.

They remain closed as part of a three-part, $8.1 million renovation that includes construction of six-leg roundabout, upgrades to Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park, and a new entrance to the park from Innovation Road.

“The contractor is ahead of schedule,” Washington County Deputy Public Works Director Wayne Sandberg said. “We wanted to get this road open as early as possible to relieve some of the pressure elsewhere in the community.”

Project manager Nik Costello said 70th Street will be closed for a weekend later this month so crews can finish paving. The road closed in the spring while crews resurfaced the road and upgraded trails, widened shoulders and installed turning lanes.

Crews also installed a new traffic signal at the intersection of Hardwood Avenue and 70th Street. Additional turf planting and landscaping will continue into December.

"We are asking folks for some patience, and to make sure they drive carefully and safely through the area," he said.

Project manager Grant Wyffels said the roundabout could open as early as next month, once lighting is installed.

William Loeffler

William Loeffler is a playwright and journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked 15 years writing features for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has also written travel stories based on his trips to all seven continents. He and his wife, Michelle, ran the Boston Marathon in 2009. 

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