MASON CITY — A heavily-used county road just north of Mason City will be closed for over a month starting next week. County Road B-20 will be closed to make improvements at the railroad crossing near the Lehigh Company.
County engineer Brandon Billings says, “The B-20 crossing where Lehigh crosses the roadway, that crossing has been extremely rough for a long time. We’ve been working with the railroad and Lehigh to figure out the best way to solve this. The only way that was feasible was for a complete closure of that during the construction process. It’s due to start on the 9th of next week.”
Billings says one part of the process will be assisting the railroad in raising the tracks to make them even with the roadway. “One of the things that the railroad was looking at was improving their system, and there’s a sag in the track that really messes up their switching that they’re trying to do there. If we get this track raised up to meet the grade, it will make the crossing much smoother, and it will be able to be maintained easier, but it will also benefit the railroad, so it’s a win-win. They’re going to contribute all their labor and we’re just going to pay for the materials side of it.”
Billings says the road will be completely closed because of the nature of the construction. “It will be closed for through traffic for the entire time because we have to take out approximately two feet of material on each side of the road to get the base and the concrete the right thickness to make sure that this stays in good shape for as long as possible.”
A detour will be set up where motorists will be sent up to County Road B-15 west to Killdeer Avenue and then south back to B-20.
Heartland Asphalt had the low bid for the project at just under $203,000. Billings hopes the road will be back open by the middle of June.