Residents dealing with local construction

Published 9:39 am Monday, August 3, 2015

With construction dominating the Albert Lea landscape this summer, some residents are viewing it as a necessary frustration.

“I’d rather have them fixed,” Albert Lea resident Bonnie Voshell said. “It’s hard on the cars. Hitting a pothole could ruin your tire or break your axle. It’s long-overdue. I don’t mind having the detours.”

Albert Lea resident Bobbie Kluver said she stays away from construction areas.

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“I avoid it,” Kluver said. “I have a 5-year-old daughter, and I’m cautious because accidents happen more around construction areas.”

Resident Tami Strand said though the construction is a hassle, she recognizes it needs to be done.

Steven Jahnke

Steven Jahnke

Albert Lea City Engineer Steven Jahnke, said the construction is needed.

“All of those roads were in poor condition and needing repair and replacement,” Jahnke said.  “It’s an inconvenience this summer, but in the long run it will be worth it.”

He said this has been a busy summer for construction in Albert Lea.

“I want to thank people for their patience during construction,” Jahnke said. “Please be careful while driving through construction zones and be on guard for construction crews and hazards on the roadway while driving through these areas.”

Current construction in Albert Lea includes the South Broadway project. Construction crews are working from Main Street to Seventh Street. Jahnke is aiming for the project to be done by the end of October, with the current closure area to be re-opened in two weeks. Construction will still be taking place in the area, he said, but the roadways will still be open. There will be short-term temporary closures in connection with the project.

Construction is also taking place on Lakeview Boulevard from Sunset Street to Abbott Street. Jahnke expects this portion of the project to be completed by the end of August. Sunset Street will then be closed from Sunset Street to Wedge Street. Jahnke anticipates that portion to be completed by the end of November.

Neighborhood improvement projects are currently taking place near College Street, Washington Avenue, Jefferson Avenue, Court Street and Mill Street. Those road projects will continue through the end of August, Jahnke said. All of those roads will continue to be open through the project.

Construction is also taking place on the northwest sewer and water project that is bringing sewer and water out to the new St. John’s Lutheran Community on Fountain Lake. West Edgewater Road is currently closed in connection with the project, but Jahnke said the road should be open by the end of this week.

The Fifth Street and Virginia Place reconstruction project is scheduled to begin in mid-August and last through the end of November.

The Clark Street and Vine Avenue project, along with the 19th Street and Milo Avenue force main project, have been completed.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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