Get ready for another traffic disruption in Owatonna. And another roundabout. Signage indicates work will begin July 29 on the County Road 45 (State Avenue) and County Road 34 (26th Street) project. The Steele County Highway Department states the intersection will be closed for about two months.

A railroad crossing will be upgraded in the construction zone, "A dip in the roadway at the railroad tracks creates a rough ride for users," according to the department. They also state, "The temporary signal (flashing yellow light) at the intersection has ongoing issues include intermittent outages that increase traffic delay."

The reason for a roundabout includes, "A higher than expected crash rate...A roundabout will greatly reduce the number of crashes, especially right-angle (T-bone) and turning crashes, which tend to be the most severe."

The project home page goes on to state, "Benefits of a roundabout include improved safety, minimal traffic delay during peak and off-peak hours, and the addition of pedestrian crossings for future trail connections."

See the detour route here.

Visit the Steele County Highway Department construction page for a full run through of projects happening.

The City of Owatonna reports on the progress of the West Bridge Street Reconstruction project. "Concrete paving began on Tuesday (July 20) with paving the westbound travel lanes including at the I-35 intersection. Wednesday paving continued with the eastbound lanes....preparation of the Park Drive intersection continued and paving at the intersection began on Thursday."

"It is anticipated that new traffic changes will begin the week of August 16," states the update. The full project, which includes a roundabout at West Bridge and 24 Avenue, is estimated to be complete by the end of October.

Meanwhile, you can watch the progress of the North Cedar Streetscape project throught downtown Owatonna in real time.

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