MARSHALL - The clock started ticking on the U.S. Highway 59 resurfacing project a week-and-a-half ago, but you wouldn't really know it by driving the road.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation said this week that a contractor delay has pushed back the resurfacing project once again on one of the area's most-used corridors.
The $2.3 million project was originally set to begin Sept. 11. A number of factors led to an initial delay, however, and last week, MnDOT said work on the road wouldn't begin until the week of Sept. 16.
But MnDOT Project Supervisor Nick Klisch said Friday that because of unexpected asphalt-related delays with the contractor, the project has once again been pushed back.
Klisch said Friday actual road construction now likely won't begin until Oct. 1. He said the entire project will take between four to five weeks to complete.
The contract has a 30-day window from start to finish.
Central Specialties of Alexandria is the main contractor for the project. Messages left with Central Specialties were not returned Friday.
"They (Central Specialties) tell me once they get here to the project, they think they can do the paving in about two weeks, and then it will be another couple weeks of adding gravel to the shoulder and doing the striping and rumble strips," he said. "We're shooting for the project to be done in the beginning of November."
The resurfacing includes a two-inch overlay where two inches of old pavement are ripped up and replaced with two inches of new pavement.
When construction gets under way, traffic will be directed by flaggers with a pilot car, and motorists should expect delays of about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the time of day, MnDOT said.
The existing cable guard rails on either side of the highway at two locations with be replaced by new plate beam rails, which will be installed in the pavement during resurfacing for optimum stability should erosion become a factor on the hilly areas.
Central Specialties subcontracted work on the guard rails.
Crews will work from the south near where 59 intersects with U.S. Highway 14, and proceed north, toward Marshall.
MnDOT crews are currently doing surveying and preliminary work for the project until the contractor gets crews to the site.