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MnDOT needs to do it right

By Staff | Nov 10, 2013

We applaud the Blue Earth City Council for sticking to their guns with the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The council has been dealing with MnDOT for the past several meetings over how much repair two Blue Earth streets need.

A block of Sailor Street and Eighth Street located behind the Kwik Trip convenience store were used as a detour during the reconstruction project for Highway 169.

MnDOT’s policy is to compensate the city for the use of any streets used for a detour. Plus, should the streets be damaged, MnDOT agrees to put them back into the same condition they were in before the detour began.

The city and the state have not agreed upon what that condition was, or how much fixing is actually needed.

It is true the two streets were not brand new to start with. And, it is true the city plans to reconstruct them in a few years anyway.

Those two issues should not change the fact that something needs to be done right now.

We agree with the City Council that what MnDOT has proposed so far is not adequate. Even to a non-engineer, just patching some areas and putting in a mere inch or so of asphalt does not sound like much.

Plus, we agree with the council that these streets were not just slightly damaged, they were, in the words of councilman Dan Brod, “totally wrecked.”

A MnDOT representative at last Monday’s council meeting suggested that only approximately 20 percent of the two blocks were damaged.

We actually think that the opposite is more true only 20 percent of the two blocks were not damaged.

And, the damage is severe. There are large ridges and valleys where heavy trucks have gone, as well as holes and cracked pavement. Take a look, it is quite a sight.

The two blocks are wrecked and need to be fixed. And, they need more than just a quick bandaid.

Since the MnDOT agreement calls for the streets to be put back into the same condition they were before the construction, we feel that means it should at least be a surface that is drivable and will last for more than a year or two.

Since MnDOT has agreed to fix the streets anyway, it shouldn’t take a lot more effort or expense to do it right.

We hope they get the message.