Construction under way on Main Street

Published 9:24 am Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pink flags fly from wooden markers Tuesday in a ditch along West Main Street where construction crews removed the grass. -- Tim Engstrom/ Albert Lea Tribune

Motorists and pedestrians could experience brief traffic delays for the next month along West Main Street in Albert Lea as crews aims to fill gaps in the pedestrian sidewalk system and upgrade several sidewalk ramps.

Because Main Street is a state highway, the project is under the direction of the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Minnesota Highway 13 begins at the intersection of Main Street and Broadway Avenue and shoots westward to the junction with U.S. Highway 69 before taking its northerly route to places such as New Richland, Waseca and New Prague.

MnDOT spokeswoman Kristine Hernandez said work began Tuesday and is expected to take four weeks, weather permitting.

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The project costs about $166,000, and the contractor is Haselton Construction of Faribault.

Hernandez said crews are repairing pedestrian ramps to make them compliant with the American Disabilities Act. The effort to put in the new sidewalks was encouraged by the AARP/Blue Zones Vitality Project in Albert Lea in 2009.

The new pedestrian ramps will be on the northwest corner of the intersection of St. Mary Avenue and Main Street, on the northeast and southeast corners of the intersection of Euclid Avenue and Main Street, on both entrances of the northwest entrance to Skyline Plaza, and at the right turn of Highway 69 onto Highway 13.

The new sidewalks will be along the highway from St. Mary Avenue to Euclid Avenue and on the north side of the highway from the Skyline Plaza entrance to Highway 69.

MnDOT officials are urging motorists to drive with caution, slow down in work zones and never enter a roadway that has been blocked with barriers or cones.

Hernandez said there will be intermittent lane closures, but they shouldn’t impact traffic too much because it is a four-lane highway.

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