Photo by Deb Gau
Minnesota Highway 68 between Minneota and Marshall will be one part of a state construction project planned for next year. In addition to replacing culverts and widening the shoulders of the highway, the Minnesota Department of Transportation will be doing culvert replacements near Porter and Taunton.

MARSHALL — Members of the Lyon County Board were told that highway 68 construction projects between Porter and Marshall will take place next year starting in December.

Representatives of the Minnesota Department of Transportation delivered more details on the two projects to the board on Tuesday. MnDOT officials said the road work is planned to start in December with culvert replacements near Porter. Construction to widen the shoulders of Highway 68 between Minneota and Marshall would likely start sometime later in the year.

Detours will be in place during different stages of construction, said MnDOT presenter Isaac Kinuthia.

Because the Highway 68 project will include some culvert replacements and minor changes to public ditches, Lyon County commissioners held a hearing at their Tuesday meeting. After the hearing, commissioners approved a petition from MnDOT to make changes to County Ditches 63, 32, 37 and Lateral A of County Ditch 37.

Kinuthia and Allen Schmitz of MnDOT spoke with commissioners over Zoom. Kinuthia said the Highway 68 construction project will affect about 11 miles of road between Minneota and Marshall, and replace some culverts between Porter and Taunton.

The construction will be broken up into stages, each with its own detour, Kinuthia said.

“Every phase will be open before the next phase goes in,” he said.

The first stage, planned to start in December, will begin in Yellow Medicine County with the replacement of two box culverts near Porter. The next stage would be replacement of a box culvert between Porter and Taunton.

“Those two (stages) may take almost the entire winter,” Kinuthia said.

After that, construction would begin between Minneota and Ghent. The final part of the construction would run from Ghent to Marshall.

Kinuthia said the state is in the process of contacting individual land owners for temporary or permanent easements for the construction. The project is proposing to replace some drainage tile and culverts near the Highway 68 construction, and do some grading work affecting county ditches. However, the changes shouldn’t impair the ditches or change the drainage, MnDOT representatives said.

There were no objections or public comments brought forward at the hearing. County commissioners voted to grant MnDOT’s ditch petition for the construction project.

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