ST. CLOUD -- It is a major road reconstruction project that has been in the works for years, and it is still 2 1/2 years away from getting started, but the St. Cloud city council is already getting prepared for it.

During Monday night's study session the council got an update on the massive project planned for Highways 10 and 23 in east St. Cloud. The 14 month-long $37.6 million project will start in the spring of 2023 and end in the fall of 2024. St. Cloud is required to pay nearly $3.6 million of the total cost.

While both highways will be getting a complete overhaul most of the discussion focused on Highway 10 which will be going below ground much of the way from 15th Avenue Southeast to St. Germain Street. Those two intersections are staying the same with the traffic lights. Councilwoman Carol Lewis called the project 'massive' and questioned why MnDOT would spend that much money and not make improvements to remove both lights.

Creating the "depressed tunnel" effect for Highway 10 will allow for the extension of 4th Street Southeast, between Cashwise and the Salvation Army, to go over the highway at grade level for both vehicles and pedestrians.

There was also talk about a possible developer asking to get better access to 7th Avenue Southeast near the Country Inn and Suites to help spur a development project in that area.

Highway 23 will be rebuilt between Lincoln Avenue and Mayhew Lake Road.

It is expected that the work will be done without having to reroute the traffic.

The St. Cloud City Council will hold a public hearing on the project on January 11th. MnDOT needs city approval to go ahead with the project.

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