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Major road work will start soon

Farmington residents used to driving Highway 3 north from Farmington might want to start planning alternate routes.

With the Farmington City Council's approval Monday of a contract for the construction of a roundabout where 190th Street meets Highway 3 drivers could soon find themselves looking for a new way to get to Rosemount and all points beyond. Construction on the new interchange could start as soon as July 22.

City engineer Kevin Schorzman planned to meet with the construction company on Wednesday, after this issue went to press, and expected to have a more definite date after that.

The current construction schedule calls for the highway to open again no later than the end of September.

The winning bid, from Ryan Contracting Co., is for $1.11 million. That's about $500,000 less than the city's original estimate.

Using that $1.5 million estimate -- and figuring in engineering and other expenses -- the city expected to pay about $539,000. Another $550,000 would come from the state, $400,000 from Dakota County, $380,000 from Empire Township and $310,000 from the developer of the Fairhill project.

If the final cost is less than expected the city and the other entities involved with see the refund in the same percentage as their expected contributions.

"I will fight for our share," finance director Robin Roland said.

The city of Farmington will be in charge of overseeing the project.

More construction

The Highway 3 roundabout is not the only road construction project likely to give Farmington drivers headaches this summer. City council members also voted Monday to approve a $763,000 bid -- also from Ryan Contracting Co. -- for a reconstruction project on Spruce and Second streets in downtown Farmington.

The project will include reconstruction of street, sidewalks, curb and gutter, sanitary and storm sewers and water mains on Spruce Street from the railroad tracks to Fourth STreet and on Second Street from Spruce to Oak.

The downtown project should start shutting down streets by the end of this week and run through Oct. 15.

The city will hold a meeting from 5 to 6:30 p.m. tonight (Thursday) to let downtown business owners know how traffic patterns will be affected. Maps are available to help people get around downtown.