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It's a heavily used highway in Minnesota and it's bound to give you headaches, thanks to its many construction zones!

As we've all heard, there are really only two distinct seasons in Minnesota: Winter and road construction, right? Well, this popular highway in the Land of 10,000 Lakes proves that saying because it now boasts a whopping four different construction zones that restrict traffic to a single lane in each direction-- all in the span of just over 60 miles.

I know that road construction is something that's needed, seeing as I'm often one of the first people to complain when I drive on a road or highway that's rough and full of potholes. But that doesn't make driving on this busy Minnesota highway any less frustrating right now.

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I'm talking about Highway 52. Technically, its official name is U.S. 52 or U.S. Route 52, and in addition to its path between the Twin Cities and Rochester here in Minnesota, it spans over 2,000 miles between its northern endpoint in Portal, North Dakota at the Canadian border, and its southeastern endpoint in Charleston, South Carolina.

But it's that stretch between Rochester and the Twin Cities that contains four separate work zones right now, part of a three-year, $69.7 million project the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has implemented to 'add new pavement, reduced crash potential, new bridges, snow drift prevention measures.' (Read all about the previous work zones HERE.)

Work on the project started in 2021, but this summer added a FOURTH zone where traffic is restricted to a single lane, between Highway 60 East and Highway 58 at Zumbrota, while crews build a noise wall on the east side of the highway. You can see the work zones that are taking place in the graphic below. (And there are a lot!)

Minnesota Dept. Transportation
Minnesota Dept. Transportation

MnDOT notes that these new lane closures and shifts are expected to stay in place until late October, and that you should be alert for 'occasional slowdowns and traffic backups through the work zone, especially during heavy travel times such as the Labor Day weekend holiday.'

Yeah, I got caught in several of those 'occasional slowdowns and traffic backups' several times last week as I was heading to and from the Twin Cities. Which is always a great time! And when the project finally wraps up, it'll be about the time the snow starts to fly again, which also makes traveling Highway 52 a good time, am I right?

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