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MnDOT Hwy 12 Reconstruction Project: completed!

Click the green scissors button below to cut the virtual ribbon—then explore this website to celebrate and learn more.

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Highway 12 shield

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The new and improved Highway 12 is open to all traffic


Minnesota iconLitchfield, MN

Thank you, Litchfield community! From the Highway 12 Litchfield Downtown Study in 2016 to the start of construction in 2019, it's been a long road to reconstruction. We appreciate your partnership and patience throughout the process. Continue scrolling to learn more about the project and celebrate with us.

Please pass along the link to this virtual ribbon-cutting to family, friends and coworkers who use this stretch of Highway 12. Use the links provided below to share this site.

The official in-person ribbon-cutting

Participants at the official in-person ribbon-cutting event, spaced six feet apart. From left: Keith Johnson (Mayor of Litchfield), Jon Huseby (MnDOT District 8 Engineer), Clint Christians (Landwher Construction)

Project Overview

Completed work

The Highway 12 Downtown Litchfield project began by identifying the needs of the Litchfield community, engaging with the public and coming up with a roadway design that balanced different needs and perspectives. The project included reconstructing four blocks of Highway 12 and Highway 22 through downtown Litchfield, reconstructing existing roadway, and making the area more accessible to pedestrians. Details on the issues addressed are below.

Road reconstructions:

  • Highway 12 from 4th Street to E Commercial Street
  • Highway 12 from the intersection of Highway 12/Highway 22 to N Holcombe Avenue
  • N Holcombe from Highway 12 to E 1st Avenue
  • 4th Street

Replacements and updates:

  • Replace sidewalks and update pedestrian crossings and ramps
  • Improve conditions for walkers and people with disabilities
  • City utilities were updated including sanitary, sewer and water (a City of Litchfield project)

We completed many construction components as part of this project. Review our project video from this spring to learn about the work that occurred in 2020.

Improvements

We made many improvement as part of this project. View the gallery below to see some of the unique features we put in place in downtown Litchfield. The Litchfield City Council made final decisions on lighting, design, landscaping and traffic singals.

Photo gallery:

Challenges

This project was located in a business-dense area of Downtown Litchfield. In addition to construction impacts for the area, there were challenges due to COVID-19. Construction continued through 2020 and the project was completed seven weeks earlier than originally anticipated! Thank you to Landwher Construction and the Litchfield community for your patience during the project, we know it has been impactful.

Project quote

There were many unknowns with starting the Hwy 12 project construction during COVID-19. With the help of Landwehr project management, great weather and a cooperative public we were able to finish the project early and get Main Street back open for business.

Kelly Brunkhorst, Assistant District Engineer for Construction


A collection of signs showing support for the project and workers (photos via Litchfield Downtown Council)

Support signs in downtown Litchfield

Construction Progress

Project Timeline


2016

Highway 12 Litchfield Downtown Study complete, including engaging the community and developing preliminary designs for the new roadway

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2017 to 2019

MnDOT community engagement underway, gathering input on downtown needs, streetscaping and design

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2019

Construction begins, 4th Street closed and traffic was detoured from June through October

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2020

Construction continues, Highway 12 closed and traffic was detoured from May through September


Sept. 2020

Construction complete, the new roadway is open to all traffic—seven weeks ahead of schedule!

Drone timelapse

Watch the video below to see how construction progressed in the project area.


Historical Considerations

Litchfield Historic District

Throughout the project MnDOT balanced the state’s transportation needs with historic preservation. Much of the Highway 12 reconstruction project was located within and near the Litchfield Historic Commercial District and other historic properties.

Project quote

Because the Hwy 12 project impacted a historic district, a vibration monitoring plan was required before the start of construction. MnDOT modified some of it’s normal compaction practices in order to minimize vibration and it worked so well in downtown Litchfield that other projects are using the same methods.

Al Setrum, Construction Supervisor

Use the comparison slider at right to see the difference between the historic and present-day photos of downtown Litchfield.

Highway 12: then and now

A historic photo of downtown Litchfield A present-day photo of downtown Litchfield

Community Celebration

At-home activities

Celebrate with us by downloading and completing each of these Highway 12 inspired activities at home. It's fun for the whole family!


Submit your story

We are interested to learn more about your experience with this project, everyone has a unique reason for using Highway 12. We're collecting quotes about the project from stakeholders and community members. Submit yours using the story form shown here, or click here for a direct link. We are excited to hear from you!

Post-Construction Survey

MnDOT Survey

As the project wraps up in downtown Litchfield, MnDOT wants to know how well we’ve communicated to you during construction and how we can improve communication on future projects. Please complete the survey at right, or click here for a direct link. Thank you for taking the time to respond.


Map of Litchfield project area