Highway 27 In Little Falls Set To Undergo Massive Construction Project
Highway 27 is the only road in Little Falls that crosses the Mississippi River connecting the east side of town with the west. Thousands of people use Highway 27 in Little Falls, also known as Broadway Street, to get to and from their destinations every day. This summer commuters may have to use alternate routes as the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is planning a six-month construction project to reconstruct and resurface Highway 27.
“We’ll also be doing other improvements along with the roadway itself,” J.P. Gillach, MnDOT Spokesperson, said. “[We will be] putting in new sidewalks, new utilities, upgrading signal systems, adding a little piece of bike lane, and re-decking the bridge that crosses the Mississippi River.”
The first phase of the project will begin on Monday, April 29th, and for the first few weeks, drivers will have to use Highway 10 and County Road 214 to get through Little Falls. Truck drivers will have to use that route throughout the entire project.
“So, once the project begins, the truck detour will go on,” Gillach said. “For the first two weeks, and only for the first two weeks, that will be the detour for everybody. After the first two weeks, we’ll have some short local detours. It’ll be pretty easy to get to downtown Little Falls, and it will be really easy to get to all the events they are having around this project.”
Construction usually means bad news for business, and that’s why Little Falls has planned many events throughout downtown this summer to bring people to the area.
“Every Thursday night we will have block parties,” Kristina Vonberge, Convention of Visitors Bureau Executive Director, said. “The concept is music, food, a few attractions, maybe a rock wall, something fun. So, kids, family, bring your chair and have a good time.”
Businesses will also have special deals when the block party is in their area, and that’s the whole idea of the block parties: to keep business booming despite the construction.
“A lot of these people have never been to downtown,” Vonberge said. “I would like them to feel invited, and have construction be a positive, rather than a negative.”
Detours are in place for every phase of the project, so getting to where you need to go shouldn’t be a problem, and after the project is complete, Little Falls will look better than ever.
“You’ll definitely notice a difference driving through Little Falls,” Gillach said. “It’ll be a lot cleaner, of course the road will be nice and smooth, new sidewalks, the signals will operate better, so it should be nicer for pedestrians to come downtown and move around and enjoy all the sights, sounds, and events.”
The $7.5 million project is scheduled to be completed in October. For more information, visit http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/littlefalls/.