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Traffic Jams Galore on Highway 77: Major Work Scheduled on Cedar Avenue This Week

On Monday, traffic on Highway 77 ground to a complete halt as construction crews blocked off lanes from the inner reaches of Apple Valley to the Minnesota River.

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A busy week of construction is planned on Cedar Avenue this week, as paving is scheduled, weather permitting.

Work is scheduled continue into new weekend, as Cedar will be closed bewteen 157th Street and 161st Street from 10 p.m. Friday until 1 p.m. Saturday. A portion of County Road 46 also will be closed during that time.

At the same time, the Minnesota Department of Transportation has begun work on portions of Highway 77 stretching from Apple Valley to the Minnesota River, which will require lane closures. On Monday, the southbound side was clogged traffic snarls from Cliff Road to the Mall of America as construction crews removed markings from the pavement.

Here is a construction summary from MnDOT: The state project stretches from 138th Street in Apple Valley to Minnesota River. Its aim is to repair concrete, resurface the road and upgrade guardrails. The project began in Augsut and is set to run until November, with long-term lane and ramp closures.

Until Sept. 25

  • Highway 77 will be reduced to two lanes of traffic, using the right shoulder, from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. between 138th Street and Diffley Road.
  • The highway will be reduced to a single lane south of 35E from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. north of 35E from 10 a.m. to 5 a.m. the following day.
  • Buses will be forced to combine with general traffic.
  • Speed limit reduced to 50 miles per hour in work zones.

• Sept. 12-Sept. 19

McAndrews Road to southbound Highway 77 ramp will be closed.

• Sept. 18-Oct. 11:

  • Work begins on southbound 77 between Diffley Road and 138th Street. Highway reduced to two lanes.
  • Single lane traffic between south of 35E from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. north of 35E from 10 a.m. to 5 a.m. the following day.

Here is this week’s construction update from Dakota County:

• Paving the final layer of asphalt on Cedar Avenue between 179th Street and south of 155th Street/Whitney Drive is scheduled to begin Monday, Sept. 17, weather permitting. Milling some of the existing pavement on Cedar Avenue from 179th Street through the Dodd Boulevard intersection and on side streets will occur prior to paving. The signal systems will be on flashing red (all-way stop) for much of this work. Lane closures and/or lane shifts will occur. Temporary closures of side streets and entrances will occur for short durations during the milling and paving operations. Turning movements from/onto Cedar Avenue may be temporarily restricted during some activities. This work will take one to two weeks to complete depending on the weather. Expect major delays.

• Cedar Avenue is tentatively scheduled to be closed between 161st Street and 157th Street from 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21 until 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, weather permitting, to pave the intersection. 160th Street (County Road 46) will also be closed between Granada Avenue and Garrett Path during this time. Access to businesses and residences will remain open; however, this intersection will be completely closed. Traffic will need to use alternate routes.

• The median crossing on Cedar Avenue at 142nd Street is closed so the median can be reconstructed. Traffic is no longer able to make a left turn from Cedar Avenue onto 142nd Street. Northbound traffic accessing 142nd Street west of Cedar Avenue should follow the posted detour. This closure will remain in place until early November.

• Northbound and southbound Cedar Avenue are reduced to two through lanes of traffic in each direction from 155th Street/Whitney Drive to south of Upper 136th Street. These lane closures will continue into late fall.

• Additional temporary lane closures may occur throughout the entire project area, except during the following times: northbound Cedar Avenue—morning rush hour; southbound Cedar Avenue—afternoon rush hour.

• The sidewalks along Cedar Avenue between 140th Street and 157th Street may be closed during construction. Please follow the posted detours.

• Speed limits may be reduced in the work zone. Please don’t go around barriers into construction zones.

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