COVID-19 Not Slowing Down County Road 81 Construction
There’s one thing that COVID-19 is not interfering with — at least not yet — and that’s road construction. Weather might cause delays, but so far not a pandemic.
Brooklyn Park is one city where those familiar orange barrels and cones are already visible, as crews continue to work on County Road 81 and Brooklyn Boulevard.
“We started this project with the goal to complete it along the lines of our original timeline,” said Colin Cox, transportation communications specialist with Hennepin County. “We’re always ready for things to change – typically things like weather. So, we always try to keep things moving and will adjust sequencing or work areas if need be to stay on schedule.”
County crews are still doing their respective jobs while practicing social distancing. Because of COVID-19, there are less cars and trucks on the road, which is a plus for crews.
“Traffic being lighter improves safety, as we have fewer people near the work areas,” Cox said. “But the closed roads are what makes the work easier. We can work on the entire intersection and we can mobilize around the entire work zone.”
Allow Extra Time for Detours
The volume of traffic on Twin Cities roads is definitely lighter than usual. But because of detour routes near County Road 81 and Brooklyn Boulevard, drivers will still encounter delays.
“Our detours are on higher volume roads, so there will be some traffic on them,” Cox said. “Detours still mean that people should allow for some extra time to get to wherever they need to be. We do emphasize the need to use the detours, which are marked, for everyone’s safety.”
Another bonus for road crews is the spring-like weather with temperatures in the 40s and 50s.
“The mild weather helps in a number of ways,” Cox said. “Right now, it’s the fact that we have dry weather as we move toward excavation that we are enjoying. But milder weather is helpful for other activities like pouring concrete.”
County Road 81 construction is expected to finish by fall. Hennepin County and Brooklyn Park are partnering on the project, which is expected to cost between $20-25 million.
You can learn more about the project here.
Additional improvements include extra lanes, safety measures, better connections to side streets and frontage roads, crosswalks, new traffic signal systems, improved storm water systems, railroad crossings and the extension of Crystal Lake Regional Trail.
You can keep up with Brooklyn Park’s road construction projects here.