May 31, 2018 06:28 PM
Mark Kraft is a fairly new business owner on Highway 55.
Molly's Wines and Spirits in Greenfield has been open for only two-and-a-half years.
But starting in mid-June, a detour resulting from a major road project will prevent through traffic from driving past his store.
"I would imagine I will lose 20 to 30 percent (of his business) and that's really hard for a first-time business owner," Kraft said.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation plans to resurface and reconstruct a nearly eight-mile stretch of Highway 55 from Rockford to Buffalo. While MnDOT says one lane will stay open to homes and businesses, all other drivers will have to go around.
The detour will take you south out of Greenfield, west to Delano and north back to Buffalo. That's a journey of roughly 20 miles one way.
Rockford City Administrator Dan Madsen said the project will impact 16,000-to-18,000 vehicles a day in his community, with an even greater traffic impact as the weeks roll on.
"(Traffic) definitely picks up in the summertime when people go to cabins," Madsen said.
The city has been keeping the community updated.
"It's not the city's project, but it is our role to communicate with residents so we're doing everything we can to help MNDOT communicate," he said.
Kraft has an event center below his liquor store, and hopes that will keep bringing customers through the doors this summer.
"I hope that (with) me making this a destination place, I wouldn't have such an impact on my revenues," Kraft said.
MnDOT will host an open house from 4-7 p.m. on June 7 at the Rockford Park Shelter at 8220 Elm Street.
The work is scheduled to begin June 18 with the detour starting July 9. The project is expected to be done by the end of August.
Updated: May 31, 2018 06:28 PM
Created: May 31, 2018 03:07 PM
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