County Road 50 project starts

Local businesses remain accessible

With the last day of Pan-O-Prog 2017 came the Monday start of a major two-year road construction project through the heart of Lakeville.

Photo by Laura Adelmann
Road signs went up and construction started this week for the widening of County Road 50, a two-year project. Local businesses will remain open and accessible during the project.

The long-anticipated widening of County Road 50 from 185th Street to Dodd Boulevard closed part of County Road 50 July 10, but businesses near the road closure, including Lakeville Dental, McDonald’s restaurant, White Funeral Home and McDonald Eye Care Associates, will continue to operating as the work goes on.

John Sass, Dakota County transportation project manager supervisor, said much of the planning the county has done over the years has been to allow area businesses to remain accessible despite the road work.

During the first month of the project, a new backage road behind some of the businesses will be built and will become their permanent access point.

Signs are to be installed informing drivers how to reach the businesses at all stages of construction.

Jim White, owner of White Funeral Home, said he does not expect to encounter any problems continuing operations during the project.

“They’re not going to interfere with us very much,” White said. “There will be a lot of construction going on, but it’s not going to interfere with our business at all.”

Next summer, stage two of the $15.6 million project will focus on widening County Road 50 to a four-lane divided road with turn lanes.

Bike and walking paths will flank the road, and a traffic signal at County Road 50 and Ipava Avenue will be replaced; the Lakeville North High School sign will be removed.

Lakeville’s project share totals $7.2 million, and the county’s share is $8.7 million.

Sass said the county has reached agreements acquiring rights of way from 30 of the 44 properties owners in the project area.

Mayor Doug Anderson emphasized in a June 26 City Council work session the need for accesses to remain open for businesses in the area.

“We have to work really hard to ensure that people know how to get to the businesses that are there,” Anderson said. “And so somebody coming to one of those three legacy businesses, they need to know they can still come down Highway 50 when it says ‘local traffic.’”