by Dennis Dalman
Sartell residents – and out-of-towners – might want to remind themselves a major construction project is about to begin along Hwy. 15 and County Road 120 in the Epic Center area by Sartell and St. Cloud.
Work on a “divergent diamond” interchange will start in July.
The estimated $16-million project will be the first of its kind in the state.
The work in July will be part of preparation stages that will continue through 2012 and into 2013.
Construction of two roundabouts on CR 120 and on 50th Avenue will begin in July.
The project involves removing CR 120 and replacing some of it with an overpass road that will go over Hwy. 15. Hwy. 15 will then be lowered 16 feet at the place where it will go under CR 120. The ambitious construction will also involve relocation of utility lines.
Construction is expected to be completed in the autumn of 2013.
During the many months of construction, there will be some lane closures, detours and temporary roads built.
A divergent diamond is a highway constuction planned so traffic never meets head-on. All left-turners, for example, will never have to meet oncoming vehicles. Research has shown such configuartions are far safer, especially where there is extremely heavy traffic, such as at and near Epic Center, where Sam’s Club and Walmart are located.