Construction Project Updates

Highway 52 Freeway Partnership update

The Highway 52 Freeway Partnership is a collaboration between Dakota, Goodhue, and Olmsted counties in association with MnDOT to advocate upgrading Highway 52 to a freeway design.



Goodhue County Public Works is planning to reconstruct County State Road 2 from County Road 5 to State Highway 61.  Grading will include the replacement of all drainage structures and is planned to begin in 2024 with paving following in 2025.  

An open house was held on March 1st and the boards from the open house are linked below.  Contact us at (651) 385-3025 with any questions.

CSAH 2 Grading Open House

CSAH 2 Grading FAQ

Question Answer
The project has been on the table since 2017. No correspondence from public works until January 9th, 2022. What is the scope of work? It has obviously changed since the spring meeting or was misrepresented at the spring meeting. It has definitely been misrepresented since a letter went out in 2022, that stated there would be a culvert upgrade and paved. In 2022, Goodhue County sent a letter to landowners to introduce the project on CR 2. The letter was general in nature and meant to inform of a project for a future year. In 2023, the County held a public meeting to explain what is happening to the road, namely that the it would go from a generally 28’ surface to a consistent 36’ surface, and the ditches would be regraded to have flatter slopes. The project will also restore the ditches along the road. No changes have been made to what is proposed with the road surface and ditches from what was presented at the 2023 meeting.
The appraisal includes language similar to the following: "X acres are encumbered by an existing right of way easement and will now be acquired in fee." What does this mean? Can you explain where the 90% is or comes from and when the easement was acquired? At some point in the past, a highway easement was dedicated or acquired. Land records would need to be checked to determine when this happened if that is of interest. The easement provides the County all rights necessary to own, operate, and maintain a road, ditches, culverts, and any other items pertinent to the roadway. The adjacent landowner doesn't have rights to use the property as they want, but they own the underlying fee (i.e. the remaining dirt) of the property. The 90% number likely represents the value of the rights that were previously dedicated or acquired, so the 10% number likely represents the remaining value in the dirt. The proposed easement-to-fee acquisition doesn't change anything as far as rights are concerned, but is a typical process used by several agencies to clean up any ownership discrepancies.
How will homes or structures close to road be protected? Concerns regarding structures on private property should be discussed in a one-on-one meeting with County/WSB staff. The County’s contact for this project is Jake Rezac, and he can be reached at 651-385-3025.
Farmers are required to keep at least 50’ from creek. Why is this not going to be an issue for the road to be that close? Will this lead to pollution of our water table, effect on springs, etc.? Roadways routinely cross creeks, rivers, and other bodies of water due to their linear nature and length needed to connect to cities, other highways, etc. Our roadways and any construction are regulated by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Soil and Water Conservation Agency, and other environmental groups. Typically, farms, residential, and commercial properties are governed by local ordinances as to how the land is used.
How will emergency services be handled during construction? A requirement of the construction contract will be that access for emergency services needs to be maintained at all times during construction. Contractors need to account for this on all projects throughout the state and different contractors may handle this in different ways. This question may be best brought up at a meeting with the contractor, planned for later in the project process.
How will our property assessments be affected? Our taxes will go up with concrete and how will the acreage being purchased be removed from the acreage that we are taxed on. The County does not assess landowners for this project. Furthermore, we are able to utilize State Aid dollars on this project, which is part of an annual allotment we are provided based, in part, on mileage. Any property acquired will be recorded by the County with the Assessor's/Recorder's Office as part of the acquisition. Permanent acquisitions will be reflected on all applicable property records after the document(s) are recorded.
Where are traffic numbers and date from? Below the community center? The ADT is grossly overinflated at 690. We are still more in line with the original ADT of 295 and that still seems a stretch. Traffic data for this project is from MnDOT’s website:
Will the project be cutting into the bluffs? The extent of the work proposed on slopes is generally limited to topsoil stripping and placing of fill soil on slopes. No substantial cuts are proposed for any bluffs.
What is the setback for buildings? Shouldn’t that setback have to be kept for safety reasons? Setbacks depend on how each parcel is zoned. Typically, each appraisal includes language regarding setbacks both before and after acquisition. The appraisal should be reviewed, with WSB or County staff if desired. This is something that needs to be discussed on a parcel-by-parcel basis in a one-on-one meeting with County/WSB staff. The County’s contact for this project is Jake Rezac, and he can be reached at 651-385-3025.
What is the cost difference between a resurface vs. the proposed plan? The same thing can be accomplished with re-grading existing ditches and wider “gravel” shoulders. It doesn’t need to be a super slab. There are several costs that are considered when evaluating pavements, one of which is life-cycle cost. This segment of CR 2 is over 60 years old and has exceeded its useful service life. The overall pavement structure, which includes materials below the surface, is approaching the poor rating. Knowing this, and given that we are obligated to ensure safe and efficient operations in a cost-effective manner on the County system, we could not recommend a resurfacing project for this roadway.
How much does the county get to be CSAH for this 4.5 miles going forward from gas tax? MnDOT determines the County's allotment of State Aid dollars based, in part on how many miles of State Aid Highways are in the County. This segment of CSAH 2, proposed for reconstruction, is designated as a State Aid route and is eligible for State Aid funds.
Heard it is for DOT trucks to travel. Travel where? It is only 4.5 miles and goes nowhere. If tied to a future project for County 5 and the rest of County 2, when will that happen? (+5 years as this project was supposed to be completed in 2020) CR 2 connects CR 9 (a roadway that extends east/west across the entire county and allows for access to US 52) to US 61 (a highway that extends from Winona to Red Wing to the Twin Cities). All County roads, including CR 2, are public roads that are allowed to be used by all legal vehicles (bicycles, motorcycles, cars, buses, agricultural equipment, trucks, etc).
Induced Travel Effect = roadway expansion causes 10% increase in traffic – we don’t want this! The only aspect of the road surface that is changing is the shoulders. Shoulders are a safety improvement for anyway roadway, particularly in rural areas, as they allow for a stalled vehicle to be out of the travel lane, provide for an improved ability to recover a vehicle if you drift out of the travel lane (particularly with lane departure monitoring in vehicles today), and other benefits. The lane width will remain the same, and it will continue to operate as a 2-lane road, with one lane in each direction. There will be no increase in capacity for vehicles. The primary thing that adds traffic to roadways is land development, as that adds houses or commercial parcels, which provide both origins and destinations. The County does not develop property and is not aware of any development plans in this area, so unless additional traffic is pulled from lower volume township roads or off of US 61, traffic volumes should not change substantially.
Why is the current road not posted at 50 mph? County staff has heard from various people of one or more instances where someone was pulled over for traveling 50 mph. However, by state statute, because CR 2 is a rural road that is not considered an expressway, the speed limit is 55 mph. Because the speed limit is set by state statute, speed limit signs are not a requirement. Having said that, County staff has heard of some areas that may be sources of confusion when it comes to speed limits, and we’ll evaluate those areas to see if additional measures may be appropriate.
Concrete can also be very loud because the rigid pavement doesn't absorb sound. Also, will there be rumble bumps on the edges and middle? This will also cause an issue with our peaceful enjoyment. Asphalt absorbs energy and muffles the sound. As far as rumble strips go, they are a detail that is typically evaluated later in project development. There are two types of rumble strips: longitudinal rumble strips that run along the shoulder and/or the centerline, and stop bar rumble strips that are in the travel lane just before stop signs. The stop bar rumble strips are proposed near the stop sign at US 61. Shoulder rumble strips are not typically used in areas with higher densities of residences. We need to evaluate this area and determine if there are locations that shoulder rumble strips are prudent or should be avoided. Centerline rumble strips are not being proposed. Noise along roadways has several factors: travel speed, volumes, vehicle type, tire type, pavement roughness, texture, etc.
Super slabs should not be for quiet country farm land roads or residential areas. The road will be a 2-lane highway, with one lane in each direction when the project is complete, the same as it is today. The only widening pertains to the shoulders and ditches.
What are you doing with the overhead lines, phone lines, fiber optics? Where are the poles being moved to? The County does not operate any overhead utilities, nor do we provide phone service, power, internet, etc. Each utility company is responsible for relocating their facilities. The County will permit utilities to be in highway right of way. However, utility companies can use any existing easements they own, and are allowed to negotiate other easements with private landowners.
How will we reach our homes during construction? A requirement of the construction contract will be that local access needs to be maintained at all times during construction. This question may be best brought up at a meeting with the contractor, planned for later in the project process.
How will businesses be protected and flow of traffic to them be promoted so potential customers don’t feel intimidated? A requirement of the construction contract will be that local access needs to be maintained at all times during construction. This question may be best brought up at a meeting with the contractor, planned for later in the project process.
There is research supporting wider roads with more sight lines increase speeds, also research supporting trees help keep driver’s focused. As well as there is research that states otherwise. How do we minimize the damage to the environment? Regarding the research, this tends to be a balancing act on most projects. As mentioned before lane width is not changing. The shoulders are getting wider, and while widening shoulders by 2-4 feet may influence some people to change their driving behavior being they have more room for error, they also afford a greater degree of safety for people who do focus but need to either need to avoid an obstacle or tend to vehicle issues. With that in mind, speeds are mostly influenced by constraints in general and a lack of comfort. The road centerline of the road isn’t changing and the curves, while being modified, are not being eliminated.
There is also research that clearly shows the benefit of trees to homesteads in regard to their safety, sight, sound, and weather justification, along with property values. How do we minimize the damage to our property values, still maintain the integrity and safety of the homes, and keep heating and air conditioning costs in check? Current home for sale has already had to take $25,000 off. This is something that should be discussed in one-on-one meetings with County/WSB staff given the differences between individual parcels, valuations associated with them, etc. The County’s contact for this project is Jake Rezac, and he can be reached at 651-385-3025.
Where can we find budgetary information regarding the project? While this does not have specifics regarding the project, there are links on the County website that contains budgetary information pertaining to consultant use overall and the construction program as a whole:
Where can we find meeting notes, minutes with commissioners regarding the project? Any discussions with the Board that involved one or more actions taken can be found on the County's website: