MnDOT: Lowry Tunnel Construction More Than 50 Percent Complete

July 27, 2017 07:21 PM

The most complex roadwork project of the summer is a little more than halfway complete, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

During a tour of the Lowry Hill Tunnel Thursday, Project Engineer Tim Nelson pointed out what's been done so far by about 150 workers per day. That includes pavement resurfacing, especially just outside of the tunnel, and also replacing broken or dilapidated tiles on the inside.

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"Most of the tile is already in good shape and to redo all of the tile would be like a two-, three-year project," Nelson said.

There have, however, been some problems.

While trucks aren't supposed to drive through the tunnel while it's under construction, that hasn't stopped many of them. In fact, Nelson said that because at least 12 lights have been hit by trucks, MnDOT took down what light fixtures they could as a preventative measure.

"We're trying to reduce the number that are hit so we have some to put back," Nelson said, pointing to about a dozen fixtures that had been removed.

The hope is the tunnel will be finished by Labor Day. In the meantime, changes are still to come.

MnDOT said the third and final stage of the Lowry Tunnel construction project will start the night of August 3. During that time there will be four primary lanes of traffic in the westbound side of the tunnel. There will still be one lane of traffic on the eastbound side, as well. That lane will only be used by cars exiting Interstate 394, and it is scheduled to be in operation until August 14.

Credits

Josh Rosenthal

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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