County Road 1 project nearing completion

The detour signs went up again this year for the  $1.89 million reconstruction project on a three-mile stretch of Mille Lacs County Road 1 between C.R. 13 at Zion Lutheran Church on the north and C.R. 122 on the south.

But the detour shouldn’t be too much longer, barring any major weather event. Mille Lacs County Public Works Director Bruce Cochran has set the completion deadline for June 30, which is an extended deadline.

The project was going during all of last year’s construction season, with an original completion time of the fall of 2011.

The three-week shutdown of Minnesota state government last summer didn’t help matters, Cochran said this week. When a big player like the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is not in operation, then the county has to hire private firms to test road materials, he said. That means delay, he explained.

Both the paved driving lanes as well as the shoulders are being improved and widened, and culverts are being replaced in the project.

The original paved driving lanes were 11 feet wide and the shoulders were three feet of gravel. The newly reconstructed road will have 12 foot driving lanes, two feet of paved shoulders and six-foot gravel shoulders beyond that.

The project involves material reclamation. Machinery has been used to grind up the old bituminous and some of the gravel in the old road bed and that is being incorporated into the new road bed. New gravel is being placed on top of that for grading and packing before two layers of new bituminous material are paved over the top.

County state aid funds are covering $886,741 of the project while the federal government is putting in $1 million.