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Construction on the addition to the Becker County Courthouse and the new Becker County Transit building at the fairgrounds is progressing nicely, according to County Administrator Brian Berg.

Despite some unanticipated delays, both projects are expected to meet their initially projected completion dates, he added.

"We fell a little behind the projected schedule (for the courthouse addition) because of a shoring issue on the east side," Berg said.

There were some soil erosion concerns created by nearby gas, electric, fiber optic and other utility lines that needed to be solved before construction on the foundation could continue.

"That delayed us two to three weeks," Berg said.

However, because construction on the courthouse addition had actually started a little earlier this spring than first anticipated -- mid-March instead of mid-April -- the delay did not cause any changes to the projected April 2008 "move-in" date, he added.

The foundation for the 35,000 square foot addition has all been poured, as has the basement floor, Berg noted.

"They've set about 60 percent of the steel (framework) for the first floor, and some for the second as well," he continued. "They have a good share of the floor planking done on the first floor, and all the subgrade mechanical and electrical work has been done."

In short, Berg said, all the work on the outside shell of the building is expected to be done by October or November. This will enable the contractors to complete the interior work over the winter months.

As for the Becker County Transit building, the contractors are projecting that they will meet the originally projected completion date of July 17.

This is despite the fact that the project was delayed a couple of weeks by the discovery of some contaminated soil on the building site.

"About two-thirds of the area (for the projected building site) had bad soil that had to be extracted and replaced with good soil," Berg said. "That's going to cost us another $15,000-$20,000."

But with the soil replaced, construction on the building itself is already well underway, he continued.

"The foundation is in, the floor has been poured, and the steel framework is up," Berg said. "They still plan to meet that completion date on July 17."

That means the building will be operational in time for the Becker County Fair, which is slated to begin July 25. As part of the partnership agreement with the fair board that allowed the county to locate the transit building in the fairgrounds, the transit building will be used as additional exhibit space for the duration of the fair. The restrooms in the building will also be available for public use, Berg noted.

During the rest of the year, the building will be used to house transit buses (there are five storage bays planned) as well as office space for transit staff.

"The partnership was good for both (organizations)," Berg said.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454