Highway 27 Officially Opens To Traffic Through Downtown Little Falls
One of Little Falls’ busiest roadways is open to traffic following a major construction project that took place this summer. Highway 27 takes motorists right through downtown and is officially open again.
“The east side of our reconstruction of Highway 27 going east was officially open today,” said Little Falls mayor Greg Zylka.
The Highway 27 construction project is comprised of two phases. The first new segment is from the Mississippi River bridge to First Street East.
“We’ve been working on this for about five years now in conjunction with MnDOT. Originally it started out to be just an overlay project, but we knew that our utilities were extremely old. Some of them from the early 1900s. So we asked MnDOT if we could partner with them to do the utilities at the same time,” explained Greg Kimman, Little Falls City Engineer.
It has been a long summer for businesses and Little Falls residents, as the first phase closed the downtown road to traffic and also closed sidewalks to pedestrians.
“It’s been a long and arduous process. Sidewalks weren’t available down this street. It was a challenge but our residents were very diligent, shoppers were diligent,” added Mayor Zylka.
The project was needed in order to reconstruct and resurface two miles of the highway, upgrade utilities, and improve signals and accessibility.
“The utilities were in pretty bad shape. The road, it was getting to be pretty bumpy and so it was nice that MnDOT would come through and repair that as well,” Kimman said. “And the ADA improvements on the sidewalks to get folks in and out of businesses and around town.”
Though the construction was not always easy for Little Falls residents, officials hope that it will have a lasting positive impact for years to come.
“We did it right and hopefully this won’t have to be done again for many, many years. Thanks to everybody for great efforts and turning something that was a real challenge into a positive experience for all of Little Falls,” added Mayor Zylka. “I’m very proud of our community.”
The second phase of the project is reconstructing the roadway from Paul Larson Memorial Drive to Eighth Street and is scheduled to close the road through September.