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Construction impacts travel to Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo

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BYRON, Minn.- The parking lot might be full but many of the visitors jumped through some hoops to get to the Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo. Construction on Valleyhigh Rd and County Rd 105 is slowing people down on their way to the park.

Desiree Schlicher brought her granddaughter to the park and zoo On Sunday. It usually doesn't take long for them to get there but the construction is increasing their travel time.

"I went off of 5 where you normally come in and it took about 15 minutes to get there normally from where I live. It doubled it literally to get here," says Schlicher.

Valleyhigh Rd takes people right to Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo. According to naturalist Clarissa Schrooten, it's under construction to be wider, have turning lanes, and shoulders. County Rd 105 is also being redone. Schrooten tells KIMT News 3 the road is being moved higher onto the hillside for flood improvements.

"The road won't be underwater so that will be good. We're not fixing our road over and over when we have floods and it will hopefully stay in a safe area where we don't have to worry about floods taken out our road."

It usually takes Sean Hayden 12 minutes to get to the park and zoo. Now, it's taking him about 20 minutes.

"As soon as I made it down to the turnoff here at 105, I was surprised but it's Minnesota. That's what happens. Construction is always going on."

Schrooten is suggesting visitors plan their routes ahead of time.

"It's worth the drive to come out here. You can always check our Facebook," explains Schrooten. "We keep that really up to date. The Oxbow Park Facebook is a good place to find directions as to how to get here best."

Schrooten also recommends checking Oxbow Park Nature Center's phone messages and the Olmsted County website.

To get to Oxbow Park & Zollman Zoo, vistors can use County Road 3 and County Road 5 as detours. According to Olmsted County, the construction on County Road 105 is expected to be complete by next summer. Valleyhigh Rd is slated to reopen November 22.

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