Zumbrota overpass design narrowed downAlthough construction is years down the road, the Goodhue County Public Works Department is moving further along with plans for improving the intersection of County Road 68 and Highway 52 in Zumbrota.
By: Regan Carstensen, The Republican Eagle
Although construction is years down the road, the Goodhue County Public Works Department is moving further along with plans for improving the intersection of County Road 68 and Highway 52 in Zumbrota.
Public Works completed a study of the area in collaboration with engineering company Bolton & Menk, and presented three potential overpass solutions to the Goodhue County Board this week.
Each of the concepts would improve safety at the intersection — one of the main reasons an overpass is needed. Additionally, they all would connect the majority of Zumbrota to a few businesses located on the opposite side of Highway 52, allowing for community growth.
“If you don’t do something out there, it’s going to be extremely difficult for that industrial park to flourish,” Public Works Director Greg Isakson said.
While the concepts have those pieces in common, there are still many factors separating their designs.
Concept A essentially sits on the existing alignment of County Road 68, but would heavily encroach on the Covered Bridge Restaurant nearby.
“It would be so close to that building that you basically would have to buy out that business,” Isakson said.
Concept B has less of an impact for the businesses on the east side of Highway 52, but more for those that could potentially develop on the west. It would affect 3.3 acres of future development areas.
“We came up with a third concept that tries to balance that impact,” explained Angie Bersaw of Bolton & Menk.
Concept C — the most favored — is one that may not have existed without input from citizens at several public meetings held during the past year, planners said. Negative reactions to concepts A and B prompted people to suggest alternative ideas.
“Based on what we heard, we spent some time playing around with drawing and came up with the third concept,” Isakson said.
Concept C impacts the fewest number of parcels, existing businesses and future development areas. It was favored not only by the public but by Goodhue County commissioners as well.
As long as the Zumbrota City Council agrees with the option, official mapping of the proposed project can begin.
“If we don’t officially map it and somebody comes and builds there, it’ll never happen,” Isakson said.
Estimates show concept C costing about $3.6 million, but Goodhue County isn’t likely to shoulder the entire bill.
“Typically the way we’re getting funding from the state these days is through grants that are provided for safety or economic development,” Isakson explained.
Since the overpass affects both, it is expected that the Minnesota Department of Transportation would contribute funding.
For now, Isakson and Bersaw are focused solely on mapping because the timeline of the project is unknown.
“It’s really going to depend on how this area grows,” Bersaw said. “(Construction is) probably likely many years out into the future.”