There is a bunch of road work that is going to take place in Rice County over the next couple of years. Some county Commissioners, wish there was going to be more.

MnDot  will repave 4 miles of Interstate 35 southbound from County Road 9 to Hwy. 21 in Faribault. The $8 million plan is going to be more thorough than anticipated, according to Ronda Allis, planning director for MnDOT District 6 which includes Rice County.  Additional funding from the state will pay for concrete paving of all lanes in that section. Delays will occur each weekend during the project which is expected to run from July 23 through October.

In 2019 The Heath Creek Rest Area, on northbound I-35 just south of the Hwy 19 exit, is going to be reconstructed. Those dollars are coming from a federal program.

One project that could cause some Faribault Resident frustration will occur in 2019. The reconstruction of Hwy. 60/Fourth Street from Hwy. 21 to Central Avenue.

Last year residents met with City and MnDOT officials  in an effort to cover all their bases. In the meeting discussions were held about overhauling sidewalks, lighting and crosswalks and bringing the streetscape elements of downtown onto the highway. Sidewalks and crosswalks will be Americans with Disabilities Act compliant.

There will also be improvement to traffic signals with left-turn arrows. They'll be synced, to ensure traffic heading east toward downtown flows more smoothly without all the stops and starts. Aging utility lines, some that are almost 100 years old will be replaced.

Some other projects are not going to happen until 2021 or possibly later due to funding. The repaving of Hwy. 19 from Lonsdale to Northfield is on the list, as is Hwy. 246 from Northfield to Dennison. But county commissioners would really like to see the I-35, Hwy 19 junction re-done.