Construction on north part of Bridge Avenue to begin in the next week

Published 10:18 pm Wednesday, July 5, 2017

A major Albert Lea street project is expected to start next week.

Construction on Bridge Avenue from Hammer Road to Interstate 90 is expected to begin Wednesday.

The $1.6 million project — a collaboration between the city of Albert Lea and Freeborn County — will include curb and gutter replacement from Hammer Road to Algon Street, adding turn lanes at Hi-Tech Drive and street widening from Algon Street to I-90. This portion of the project is expected to be complete Sept. 15.

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Realignment in association with the project will move the intersection on the west end of Plaza Street and Bridge Avenue to line up with the east end of the intersection and will be at the north entrance to Hy-Vee gas station.

Construction in business areas will be staged to maintain as much accessibility as possible, said Tim Stapleton, an employee with the Freeborn County Highway Department.

“Businesses are encouraged to inform their customers and delivery services to use side streets, when necessary,” he said.

“If possible, residential parking will be made available on Bridge Avenue when the curb work and driveway apron work is being done.”

Freeborn County Highway Engineer Sue Miller said motorists will need to be cognizant of changing road conditions during construction.

Existing Plaza Street will remain open during construction, and area through the wetland will remain gravel over the winter to allow for settling of the new roadway. Final paving is expected to take place in 2018.

Eighty percent of the money for the project is from federal grants that the city and county applied for, Miller said. A majority of remaining funding is from the local-option sales tax for transportation, she said, with a minimal amount of city utility funds for adjusting manhole covers, storm inlets and water valve castings.

About Sam Wilmes

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

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