(Mankato, MN) – Work continues on the New Ulm Gateway (Highway 14/15) project that is in its second year, but construction crews struggle on the new river bridge as the Minnesota River remains high enough to prevent work in the river.

Officials say, however, that the new interchange at Highway 14/15 is progressing well and will likely be completed ahead of schedule.

Construction on the Minnesota River Bridge experienced delays in 2018 due to high river levels and in 2019 progress halted in March.  The access road is presently about five feet under water and the barge cannot be secured at current levels.

“We need the Minnesota River to fall to 795 feet to resume bridge work,” according to Todd Kjolstad, MnDOT construction supervisor.  “We don’t see that level in the current forecast, but hope it is before the end of July so that we can complete the bridge this year.”

The early completion of the Highway 14/15 interchange, which could be in mid to late August, will alleviate motorists using the current lengthy detour.  Much of the concrete work is done, the bridge is near completion and asphalt paving should take place soon.

For now, traffic continues to be detoured to Nicollet County Road 5 (Fort Road) and Nicollet County Road 12 and Nicollet County Road 21 between Nicollet and Courtland.

The Highway 14/15 New Ulm Gateway project addresses intersection safety, aging bridges, poor pavement conditions and occasional road flooding around New Ulm.

Construction began in 2017, with the majority of the work and detours taking place in 2018 and 2019.

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