Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The 2017 road construction season is just getting into full swing across southeastern Minnesota and the State Transportation Department is already preparing for a project next year that could cause some major headaches for motorists in the Rochester area.

Minnesota Department of Transportation spokesman Mike Dougherty (aka MNDOT Mike) made one of his regular visits to KROC-AM Thursday morning and provided a sneak peak at the plans for next year’s construction schedule. He says planning work is underway for a resurfacing of Highway 63 from just north of Rochester to Zumbro Falls. Dougherty says it will involve a half-foot thick concrete overlay that’s called a “white topping.”

The work will require closing sections of the highway to thru traffic while the new surface is applied, creating some major detours that could significantly impact commuters from Lake City, Plainview and other communities. Dougherty says MNDOT staff will be meeting with residents and business owners impacted by the project this summer to inform them of what to expect next year.

Meanwhile, crews are currently resurfacing northbound Highway 52 from Rochester to Zumbrota this year and replacing bridges in Zumbrota and Cannon Falls. Work on Highway 52 is also taking place north of Cannon Falls this summer and a bridge replacement project will get underway in July on Highway 61 in the Kellogg area.

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