East Main Street project nearly done

Published 6:06 am Monday, November 14, 2022

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Crews expect to finish most of the East Main Street reconstruction by the end of the week, according to an update provided by the city.

Due to culvert work, traffic needs to use Blake Avenue to access Sorensen Road north of Walmart. The new traffic signal at Garfield Avenue is now off the four-way flash and on normal operation. Other work last week included sign installation, final ditch and boulevard grading, and sod and grass seed placement.

The project has also increased pedestrian safety and exercise options with 3.05 miles of new sidewalk and shared user trail. “Shared user” means the trail accommodates mixed uses such as walking, biking and using a wheelchair or motorized scooter. East Main Street now has a pedestrian path along its entirety in Albert Lea, from State Highway 13/69 to Freeborn County Road 38 that goes to Myre-Big Island State Park.

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The city plans to extend sidewalks from the East Main and Blake Avenue intersection to Walmart and other stores. The Albert Lea City Council will vote Monday night on applying for a state grant to help pay for the project. Depending on funding, the sidewalk will be extended in 2023 or 2024.

In other construction updates, work will resume on Freeborn and Pillsbury avenues in the spring, except for a few cleanup and corrective items. Due to the onset of freezing temperatures, the landscaping contractor will delay sod installation until spring. Crews placed a temporary seed mixture on disturbed areas to prevent erosion.