Nearly half of the construction season's planned highway and bridge projects are completed, transportation officials say.
More than 250 highway and bridge projects were listed for completion this year on the Minnesota Department of Transportation's website. As of Nov. 1, 128 were completed.
The construction season was interrupted in July by the three-week government shutdown, said Kevin Gutknecht, MnDot spokesman. Crews have worked to make up for lost time since returning to work July 21, he said. Warm and dry weather have made work conditions easier for construction and road crews.
"The construction season has been really pretty good for the workers, the contractors," Gutknecht said.
Projects included I-35 in Duluth, Highway 14 between Waseca and Owatonna, and the Highway 169/I-494 interchange in the Twin Cities metro area.
Gutknecht acknowledges construction season tries the patience of Minnesota drivers, but there's a payoff.
"It's probably going to be safer. It's definitely going to be a smoother ride, and those are some side benefits that I know sometimes folks don't understand because they've had to deal with a lot of days or weeks or months of challenges to their patience," he said.
Officials said some construction will continue through winter as weather permits.