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Road work ahead - and all over

Cars stop on Tile Drive while workers ready Featherstone Road for new blacktop. Crews are working on streets throughout Red Wing this month.

Road construction season in Red Wing may have come in like a lamb, but it's going out like a lion.

This past week, local commuters dealt with heavy doses of slow-downs, stoppages and ripped-up roads stretching from many of the city's larger streets into residential areas.

"There are four projects that are causing headaches," Red Wing director of engineering Ron Rosenthal said. They include: two overlays or repavings, jobs affecting numerous streets throughout the city, a median rehab on Highway 61 and Bench Street's continued reconstruction.

The overlapping of projects is partly by design, partly a fluke, Rosenthal said.

Typically the city undertakes one overlay project a year, in which workers repave smaller roads in neighborhoods.

City officials, however, this year also chose to repave many Red Wing's bigger thoroughfares, i.e. Bush, Seventh, and Fourth streets. They paid for the work with money received from the state annually dedicated for local road repairs.

Catch is the two contractors for the overlay projects both came to town in the same week.

"They didn't come staggered like we hoped they would of," Rosenthal said.

He added the annoyance shouldn't last much longer. The smaller overlay is expected to be complete next week, while the bigger should be finished by the middle of October.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is installing a new median along the Highway 61 Bridge between Withers Harbor Drive and Bench Street. The work has slowed but not stopped traffic and is expected to be finished by next week.

Meanwhile, Goodhue County is continuing its reconstruction of Bench Street, which turns into County Road 1.