The public was invited to a virtual open house to learn about the CSAH 49 reconstruction project and to provide input June 16-30, 2020.
A second open house meeting will be held once construction impacts and right of way needs have been finalized. We have not yet determined if that will be held in person or online due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
Steele County has programmed the reconstruction of County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 49 from CSAH 45 to County Road 198 in Medford Township, north of the City of Medford. The project is currently scheduled for the 2022 construction season.
The roadway is currently a gravel road though a commercial zoned area. The gravel surface is difficult to maintain with the high volume of traffic, especially with the volume of heavy trucks.
The road carries about 1000 vehicles per day, with a high percentage of that traffic being trucks. Regional thru traffic conflicts with heavy truck traffic accessing area commercial businesses. The highway provides an alternate route between Medford and Faribault for trucks bypassing a low clearance railroad overpass on CSAH 45.
There are several safety concerns along the highway. The road has an abrupt skew at the intersection of CSAH 49 at CR 198 which has contributed to crashes at the intersection. In the middle of the corridor, a S-curve is currently designed only for speed of 25 - 30 mph, which is below standards required for a County State Aid Highway. At the approach to the intersection of CSAH 45, a very tight curve does not provide good visibility to the intersection. Also at that intersection, a steep six percent grade exists between the currently inactive Canadian Pacific Railroad crossing and CSAH 45, making it difficult for trucks entering CSAH 45.
The project will reconstruct the highway consistent with State-Aid standards and current safety standards.
Project Objective and Goals
The objective of this project is to reconstruct CSAH 49 from CSAH 45 to CR 198, taking into account different groups that use the roadway. Improvements will consider public and stakeholder input.
Goals for the CSAH 49 Reconstruction Project include:
- Reconstruct CSAH 49 to improve safety and operation of the roadway
- Provide a paved surface to support truck traffic and 10 Ton Axle Loads
- Provide a design that meets county and state aid roadway standards
- Promote regional transportation needs and access to commercial businesses
- Address long-term needs for the corridor.
Project Concepts - Alternate B Selected for final design
After obtaining initial feedback from landowners and commercial businesses in the corridor, county staff have developed two potential conceptual designs for the project. After receiving feedback, the county has decided that Alternate B best meet the overall needs of the corridor.
Both concepts eliminate the skewed intersection at the north end. Both concepts flatten curves and provide better thru traffic movement. Both concepts provide better connections to CSAH 45 with a flatter approach between the railroad tracks and CSAH 45. Both concepts would improve drainage and raise the road to minimize chance of flooding. Both concepts are identical on the north half with basically a two-lane road, 6-foot shoulders, and ditches.
Click on each of the alternatives to see information on each: