By Jon Tatting
Several residents including those who live along West 4th Street in Rush City got some questions answered about this year’s major road project during an open house March 1 at the high school library.
The project manager, along with city and county officials, discussed how 4th Street and traffic will be affected by the second and final phase of the Hwy. 361 reconstruction and utility project. Work officially began on Tuesday, March 6.
The project will be done in three stages, beginning with utility and street improvements from South Bremer Avenue (CSAH 30) to Field Avenue, explained project manager Al Gingras of A-1 Excavating, based in Bloomer, Wis.
Moving westward, work between Field and Irving Avenue will be the second stage, followed by the third leg from Irving to Fairfield Avenue (CSAH 54). There will be some overlap between stages, noted Gingras, and workers will only be allowed to dig up about three blocks at a time.
Also on hand at the open house were city engineer Barry Peters, city administrator Amy Mell, county highway engineer Joe Triplett and county commissioner Mike Robinson, who is a 4th Street resident.
Present, too, was a full city council, which held its fourth regular council meeting of the year when the open house concluded.
More project details
Also under the road project, streets, curb and sidewalk will be removed and replaced on Field from 4th to 5th Street and on Dana Avenue from 4th to 5th Street.
The city parking lot between Dana Avenue and the railroad tracks will be reconstructed. The plan includes new street lights including decorative types in the downtown area.
Mill and overlay is planned for Fairfield from 4th Street on north to the end of the pavement and 4th Street from Interstate 35 to Fairfield Avenue.
Many people are looking forward to new sidewalks, particularly from the north side along the fair grounds to the east side of Fairfield from 4th Street to the school entrance.
Detours will be similar to last year, as Fairfield, Co. Rd. 7 and Bremer Avenue will be ways to get around. Maps of the routes will be available at city hall.
If all goes to plan and the weather cooperates, Gingras estimates the completion date at July 17 — just days after the county fair ends.