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Intersection of highways 61, 10 to be rebuilt in 2016

Plans are set for the Minnesota Department of Transportation to rebuild the intersection of highways 61 and 10 just north of Hastings. The work is scheduled for 2016.

The construction would bring a handful of changes to the intersection. Southbound Highway 61 traffic will get two left turn lanes onto Highway 10 and the first 800 to 1,000 feet of eastbound Highway 10 would become two lanes. Maycrest Avenue would also be realigned to become the fourth leg of the intersection instead of meeting Highway 61 south of the intersection, as it does now. Maycrest would also get a new northbound left turn and southbound right turn.

Moving the street is a way to improve safety. In its current position, Maycrest Avenue traffic is allowed to turn north onto Highway 61, which means the median has to be open there.

"We would now be able to close that median across Highway 61," said Mark Briese, east area engineer for MnDOT. "...That (opening) really does present some safety issues."

The idea, he said, is to consolidate and get people access in one spot rather than multiple spots, and it's an approach MnDOT is taking all along the Highway 61 corridor.

Besides wanting to make the Maycrest Avenue access safer, MnDOT is scheduling the project to accommodate the volume of drivers turning left from southbound Highway 61 onto Highway 10, Briese said.

The cost of the project is estimated at $5.5 million, in 2016 dollars. Funding comes through the state transportation department.

MnDOT has contacted the landowners and business owners around the intersection about the project and received support, Briese said.