Reconstruction of Lac qui Parle County Highway 20, the road connecting Hwy, 7, southeast of Watson, with Madison, is expected to start in about a month.
During the April 16 Lac qui Parle County Board of Commissioners meeting, County Engineer Steve Kubista told the board that they will open bids for the County Highway 20 project on May 21. If the project is delayed, the opening of bids will be pushed back to June 4.
Actual construction won’t start until June 10 or at the latest July 8. This is written in the contract that will be awarded to the winning bid.
Grading and aggregate surfacing will be done this year with paving done next year. County Highway 20 will be open during the winter, as the aggregate surface will be drivable.
Bridge work is to be completed this year as well.
Commissioner Roy Marihart asked Kubista about safety features that will be going in to the new road. Currently, Kubista said, there are five curves in the road at 45 miles per hour each. Once construction is complete there will be four curves, three at 55 mph and one at 50 mph.
The current road is 12 feet wide with a 2 1/2 foot shoulder. The new road will also be 12 foot wide but it will have a two foot paved shoulder and four foot shoulder of aggregate material.
Slope on the current road is one to three inches, “if not worse” Kubista added, and the new road will have a one to four inch slope.
The federal government, Kubista continued, has a Highway Safety Implementation Project and wants to add in rumble stripes or strips to roads being built. This road will have six inch rumble strips on both sides. Kubista said this will be a “pilot project,” and could be used when they widen the rest of CSAH 20 at a later date.
Regarding a request from a group of local residents who have pleaded with the board to make the road straight, Kubista said if the county decided to change plans now it would cost and additional $300,000. And if the project were pushed back at all, it could jeopardize federal funding that is being used to help fix the road and build a new bridge.