For 20 days, roadwork on the new extension in Maple Grove stood still.
Under the state government shutdown, crews working to finish the $47 million project were ordered to cease work July 1.
Equipment fired back up on Thursday, July 21 - just a day following the shutdown. While crews are working finish the Highway 610 project, the toll the delay took from the shutdown remains unknown.
When the officially happened on July 1, the Highway 610 project was just weeks away from being completed. In fact, a ribbon cutting was scheduled July 12 was canceled. Now, city officials aren’t sure when motorists and residents will see the roadway completed.
“It’s really a wild card now,” Maple Grove City Engineer Ken Ashfeld said regarding the potential completion date. “I’m guessing it will not be July 15 plus 20 days. A good time was spent shutting the project down and remobilization.”
A meeting scheduled for Monday, July 25 for those involved in the project will likely yield more details about the construction schedule, according to Ashfeld. Whether litigation might occur by the project’s contractor seeking possible compensation for the delay from the state is yet to be determined.
One bright spot prior to the shutdown was the reopening of that had been closed for months. According to Ashfeld, work in the area had actually been delayed due to weather conditions and the city, contractor and MnDOT “scrambled” to reopen the roadway “in a temporary state” on June 30.
The Highway 610 project in Maple Grove is just one of many road construction projects to restart the day after the shutdown ended on July 20. All 4,600 MnDOT employees returned to work July 21, now fully staffed. That said, employees are still getting "reorientated" so they don’t have any more details on how quickly projects overall are starting back up, according to a MnDOT spokesperson.
A project getting back underway will depend on various factors including if equipment was moved, and how long it will take contractors mobilize manpower.
"Every project will be different...work on some projects will start quickly, others will take longer," Kevin Gutknecht, MnDOT spokesman said.
The new Highway 610 extension in Maple Grove will be a 2.74-mile long, four-lane highway from Highway 169 in Brooklyn Park to County Road 81 in Maple Grove.
What else has MnDOT reopened post state government shutdown? Here’s a list provided by MnDOT:
- 511mn.org, traffic cameras and other traveler information services are back in service and project websites are being update.
- MnPASS lanes are operating.
- Rest areas on Minnesota state highways should be open by Saturday.
- FIRST trucks are operating.