Wadena Hwy 10 Expansion Project Information

The State of Minnesota believes a one-mile stretch of Highway 10 running through Wadena needs improvement and reconstruction. The State intends to repair the road from east of Birch Ave NW near the Wadena County fairgrounds to east of County Road 4. The State hopes to begin construction on the project at some point in 2019. The project is currently in the planning phase. Final plans are being drawn up, environmental testing is being conducted, and permits are being acquired.

The Wadena Hwy 10 project is estimated to cost $8.8 million. The intention is to widen and reconstruct the stretch of road, including the Highway 10 and Highway 71 intersection, upgrade sidewalks, upgrade storm sewers, install new LED street lighting, replace the Highway 10 traffic signals at Second St NW and Highway 71, and install medians on the reconstructed stretch of road. Although the project affects a limited area, its effect on local landowners is real and substantial.

The State has already begun the process of acquiring private property that protrudes into the proposed construction zone. The State’s Department of Transportation (DOT) has identified seven structures it intends to acquire prior to commencing construction. They include Hunke’s Oil next to the Fastenal building, Albers Realty located at 561 Ash Ave NE, Orton’s BP at the southeast corner of Highway 10 and Highway 71, and Ferrelgas, located at the southwest corner of the intersection of 2nd St and Highway 10. All of these structures are located in or near Wadena. Additionally, multiple previously vacated buildings were demolished this spring in preparation for construction.

The installation of medians presents an accessibility problem for landowners, business patrons, and first responders. Medians installed on the newly constructed stretch of road will reduce the amount of turn lanes and decrease travel efficiency. Extra time will be required to access these locations. The State argues the concrete medians increase safety, increase vehicle capacity, decrease delays, and reduce vehicle speeds. Nonetheless, these medians present an irritating dilemma for many.

At Rinke Noonan, we encourage you to get involved and make your opinion known. The State is required to obtain public comments and host public informational meetings. If you have any questions or concerns, we have experienced condemnation attorneys who would be happy to assist you.  Additionally, the MnDOT website will be updated as more information becomes available.

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