GILBERT — Next year the Minnesota Department of Transportation will resurface Highway 37, the state road between Eveleth and Gilbert that includes Gilbert's main street. An open house will be held this fall to inform residents. "This will be an opportunity for residents and business owners to ask questions specific to their property," Douglas Kerfeld, MnDOT project manager, said in an email. "The project limits on Trunk Highway 37 extend from 700 feet west of TH 53 to TH 135."
And the 3rd of July parade on Gilbert's main street will go on as scheduled, a question Kerfeld has been asked frequently, Kerfeld said. Plans are to "minimize" the road work during the holiday.
Bids are expected to be let in April 2020 with an anticipated construction start date in mid-June. Target completion date is mid-October 2020.
"MnDOT has been working closely with the City of Gilbert staff for the past five years to deliver this project," Kerfeld said. "In addition to roadway work, the City of Gilbert plans to improve their utilities that are within the project limits. This includes work on the water main and sanitary sewer system."
The Highway 37 project has two sections: Rural section from Highway 53 near Eveleth to New York Avenue in Gilbert and urban section from New York Avenue to Highway 135.
The rural section involves a 15-year pavement fix and the addition of turn lanes at the intersections of Station 44 Road, West French Avenue (Genoa), County Road 97 (Sparta road), Deerwood Drive and Circle Drive.
The urban section includes the following:
Removal and replacement of all pavement, curb and gutter and sidewalk. Also some sanitary sewer and water main improvements.
Pedestrian curb ramps updated to meet ADA standards, bumpouts constructed at select locations.
New continuous lighting system throughout Gilbert.
Bike lane added to both sides of roadway in business district. Kerfeld said, "The bike lane will be striped from New York Avenue to Indiana (through downtown between the medians)."
Kerfeld detailed the turn lanes — at Station 44 a right turn lane for west bound traffic on TH 37; at West French Avenue a right turn lane for westbound traffic on Highway 37; on County 97 (Sparta Road) a bypass lane on the outside of westbound TH 37 traffic; at Deerwood Drive a right turn lane for westbound traffic on TH 37; on Circle Drive a right turn lane for westbound traffic on TH 37.
Bumpouts — a sidewalk extension into the street to shorten crossing distances for pedestrians — are planned at the following locations along Broadway, the main street.
• Louisiana Avenue – north side of TH37 only.
• Virginia Avenue – north side of TH37 only.
• New York Avenue – north and south side of TH37.
• Iowa Avenue – north and south side of TH37.
• Michigan Avenue – west side of Michigan Avenue only.
The project is being funded by the federal government with a state match. The City of Gilbert has some participation costs to pay for a portion of the parking lane construction, continuous lighting replacement and thicker than standard sidewalk.
Kerfeld said at this time no detours are anticipated. "All work will be done by shifting traffic on to existing shoulders or on half of the road while construction work is completed on the other half. In downtown Gilbert there will be times that access to the local street will be limited and drivers will need to go around the block."