Waseca city and county choose concrete for MnDOT turnback project

This is the west side of the Elm Avenue turnback project.
This is the east end of the Elm Avenue project.










The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and Waseca County recently reached a turnback agreement giving custody and care of the old Trunk Highway 14 (Elm Avenue), back to the county. The negotiated transfer includes significant updates to the once highly traveled and now tired and worn roadway.

A Highway 14 bypass that circumvents the south-central Minnesota city of Waseca, population 9,074, was constructed several years ago.

This Elm Avenue concrete reconstruction project will likely span two construction seasons; it started in 2017 and will be complete in fall 2018 or spring 2019. The City of Waseca is coordinating and designing this undertaking, as the roadway falls within city limits.

City tapped into several funding sources to pay for turnback project

According to Consulting Engineer Joe Palen of Stantec Consultants in Rochester, Minn., funding came predominantly through MnDOT and their portion of the turnback.

The city funded its share of the project through a $1.27 million federal funding grant, low-interest loans from the Drinking Water and the Clean Water revolving loan funds administered through the state’s Public Facilities Authority and local utility funds. These funds were used to offset the costs sanitary sewer, water main, stormwater, lighting and sidewalk improvements that were constructed as part of the project.

The Old Trunk Highway 14 improvement project includes the replacement of the road surface with concrete, and significant infrastructure and traffic safety upgrades.

The use of concrete was established in the turnback agreement made between MnDOT and Waseca County, according to Palen.

He said, “One of the main benefits is the longevity of the product along with reduced maintenance costs. There’s a decent amount of truck traffic running through the corridor. I think those were probably some of the considerations when specifying concrete for the road surface.”

Ulland Brothers Inc., Albert Lea, Minn., was the low bidder for the project at just over $18,298,000. Hoffman Concrete, Mankato, Minn., was subcontracted to perform the concrete work.


Start: June 2017

Anticipated Completion: Spring of 2019


  • Concrete depth: 7-inch concrete pavement
  • Total project length: 3.4 miles
  • Total concrete placed: 77,150 sq. yards

Owner: Waseca County

Project Team

City of Waseca, Waseca County & MnDOT

Project lead: Mark Duchene Waseca City Engineer (former)

Project Designer: Stantec Consultants, Rochester, MN

Project Manager: Joseph Palen, Stantec

Prime Contractor: Ulland Brothers Inc. Albert Lea, MN

Concrete Contractor: Hoffman Concrete Mankato, MN

Ready Mix Concrete Producer: Cemstone

Here’s a previous blog article about another MnDOT turnback and related reconstruction project: 2017 Hutchinson concrete street reconstruction.

Jim Schill of Lime Valley Advertising in Mankato wrote this article.