Archived Story

City asks state for help with flooded roadway

Published 9:54am Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Albert Lea City Council is calling on the Minnesota Department of Transportation to study ways to eliminate future flooding on East Main Street.

The street, also known as U.S. Highway 65, is owned by the state and is one of the most heavily traveled roadways in the city.

The road was closed from June 18 to 30 after severe storms dumped more than 7 inches of rain on the city.

The storms led to high water levels in both Fountain and Albert Lea lakes, closed streets and caused sewage backups in some homes.

In recent years, Main Street has closed one to four times a year after heavy rainfall, according to city documentation.

During the closures, traffic is detoured to other streets, and businesses face reduced customer flow. Some even have had to close their doors altogether because their buildings were unreachable.

“Repeatedly closing (Highway 65) causes a hardship to city staff, the traveling community, citizens of Albert Lea and area businesses, and should be corrected,” said City Manager Chad Adams.

The resolution asks MnDOT to look at the roadway, particularly from Garfield Avenue to Newton Avenue, and study whether to raise the road in this stretch.

The council requested MnDOT officials present a report to them about the possible solutions along with the associated costs.

Look to the Tribune on Wednesday for more from the Monday council meeting.