Project Vital Statistics

Total Contract Work Completed as of September 23, 2021: 82%

  • Currently constructing bridge (BNSF railroad over SE Main Ave). Will begin setting the beams the week of September 27, and the bridge completion is anticipated by the end of October.
  • Concrete bridge decks are complete for two bridges over 21 St: one for BNSF Railway train traffic and the other for Otter Tail Valley Railroad traffic.
  • OTVR railroad track is completed and operational. BNSF trains will continue to use the temporary BNSF railroad track (shoo-fly) until approximately the end of October, when the permanent track is expected to be installed.
  • Approximately 70% of excavation has been completed (204,000 cubic yards).
  • Approximately 80,000 feet of structural support piling (80% of total contract amount) has been installed.
  • The stormwater pumping station is complete.

Neighborhood Note: A second period of night construction is expected to follow completion of the BNSF permanent track in mid-November 2021.

Upcoming Milestones

  • Complete bridge over SE Main Ave - anticipated November 1, 2021
  • Complete BNSF permanent track – anticipated November 2021
  • Complete underpass and open to traffic - Anticipated June 2022
  • Complete BNSF wye track and close 1 Ave S to through traffic - anticipated June 2022

02-2-2 Local Access Summer 2021

Website Page Photo

Major Road Closure/Detour Continues:

Traffic should use either 1 Ave S, 12 Ave S, or Highway 10 as an east/west route and 34 St S or 8 St S as a north/south route. Closure of the intersection of SE Main and 20 St|21 St (all directions) will remain in place, likely until June 2022.

Other Travel Impacts: 

20 St from 8 Ave to 6 Ave is now open, however, 20 St north of 6 Ave remains closed

21 St S from 2 Ave S to 4 Ave S and 4 Ave S from 21 St S to 22 St S is open to traffic, one lane in each direction

Main Ave from 17 St S to 19 St S and 19 St S from Main Ave to 4 Ave S is open to traffic

02-2-2 Detour Phase 2 UPDATE 072720 no 1st Ave Temp Sig

Project Description

The proposed project will reconstruct and realign the intersection of SE Main Ave and 20 St/21 St to pass under new bridges that will carry the BNSF and Otter Tail Valley Railroad tracks over the streets. The project will result in improvements to safety and congestion for vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, and emergency services.

The project also includes the construction of new track (called a wye) that will allow direct northbound to eastbound and westbound to southbound train movements. Under existing conditions, trains must travel into the Downtown area, stop, and reverse direction to make these movements. The wye will eliminate delays at the Downtown crossings associated with trains backing up. Construction of the wye will require the closure of 1 Ave S near the wye track.

Project Layout

Proposed Layout

City Contacts

Tom Trowbridge, Assistant City Engineer
General Construction Questions 218.299.5395

Jon Atkins, City Traffic Engineer
Detour and Traffic Concerns 218.299.5388

Levi Hockett, City Inspector
Specific Construction Questions 218.299.5396

For Other Inquiries
Contact the Engineering Department

Additional Information 

Animated Depiction of 20th & 21st St/SE Main Avenue Grade Separation Project

20 & 21 St/SE Main Ave Grade Separation Project Layout

May 23, 2018 - Public Info Meeting, Slide Show Presentation - SE Main Ave 20/21st St Railroad Grade Separation Project

May 29, 2018 - Public Hearing, Slide Show Presentation - SE Main Ave 20/21st St Railroad Grade Separation Project

July 11, 2018 - Community Information Meeting - SE Main Ave 20/21st ST Railroad Grade Separation

July 16, 2018 - Underpass Ground Breaking Ceremony - SE Main Ave 20/21st ST Railroad Grade Separation 

August 12, 2021 - Underpass Open House - SE Main Ave 20/21 ST Railroad Grade Separation FAQ