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Update on Highway 34 Construction

2023 Construction:
Highway 34 – CR 29 to Osage


The culvert work is wrapping up on Highway 34. Once that work is complete, crews will move down the road to begin work at the box culvert/bridge at the Shell River. Starting tomorrow, Friday, Aug. 4, Highway 34 will become impassable at the Shell River for five weeks.

During the box culvert/bridge closure, residents and other local traffic will not be able to access Highway 34 from the east near Osage. Please take the detour or find an alternate route to your destination.

Thru-traffic: If you don’t have a destination on Highway 34, please take the detour route on County Road 47, Highway 87 and County Road 29. From one end of the project to the other, the detour could add 20 extra miles to your drive; however, long delays and closures within the work zone on Highway 34 will cause major impacts to travel time. Please plan accordingly.

Traveling for WE Fest: Businesses along Highway 34 are open! If coming from Detroit Lakes, you can enter the work zone from the west to access Highway 34. Check with your destination to find the best way to get to them.

Current progress and schedule

Culverts 1-10 are complete, and once culvert 11 is complete (expected to wrap up today/early tomorrow!), crews will begin work on the box culvert/bridge replacement at the Shell River. Starting Friday, Aug. 4, Highway 34 will be impassable at the Shell River for five weeks. 

First step to the box culvert/bridge replacement is to get the water diversion in place, then crews will remove the existing bridge structure. Locals will need to find an alternate route around the bridge to their destination or take the detour.

Milling and reclaiming the pavement surface will begin on Monday, Aug. 7, with paving to follow mid-week. The work will start at the contractor’s pit located near Toad Lake, with the operations moving west toward Detroit Lakes. There will be significant traffic delays during these operations, including multiple pilot cars and flaggers, periodic stops and long waits in up to 5 mile stretches. Please plan accordingly—these delays will extend your travel time on Highway 34.

Schedule snapshot

  • Starting Aug. 4: Hard closure at Shell River for box culvert/bridge replacement (lasting 5 weeks)
  • Starting Aug. 7: Reclaiming and paving begin, with daily lane closures and flaggers/pilot cars.

All schedules and work plans are subject to change at any time based on weather, contractor schedules or other unforeseen circumstances or issues. The overall project is expected to be completed by mid-October. 

More information

For more information about the project, visit the project website.

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