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Hwy 10 construction update

Originally scheduled to open in June 2008, then bid to open Dec. 1, the Highway 59 bridge is likely to open even earlier.

"Realistically, I predict we'll open by Nov. 1, a month ahead (of schedule)," Hoffman Construction Project Manager Chad Johnson said. That's if the weather cooperates, he added.

Hoffman will receive a $300,000 incentive to open the bridge by Dec. 1.

To move along the process, crews will be paving at Highway 10 and Highway 59 during night-time hours. Medians will be poured this week during the day and then night paving of the lanes will begin next week. Paving will take place for the next couple weeks, have about a two-week break and then start again the end of October.

Johnson added that striping needs to be done in 50-plus degree weather for the paint to dry and those days are running out.

Also during the nighttime work, a second left turn lane from Highway 10 onto Highway 59 North will be added.

Beams on the bridge are being set this week, and the week of Sept. 24, the deck will be poured, with it scheduled to be open to traffic around Nov. 1.

Nothing new to being ahead of schedule, the Roosevelt Avenue underpass was opened two days earlier than scheduled, opening on Aug. 25­.

"(Hoffman Construction) got a little incentive there," Minnesota Department of Transportation Construction Project Engineer Shiloh Wahl said. The underpass timing was especially good because of school opening, he added.

Some other changes that will be seen in that area soon include a left turn lane from Roosevelt Avenue onto Randolph Road.

The beams for the Highway 10 bridge over Roosevelt Avenue will be set this year and the deck poured next spring.

Possibly the most noticeable change in traffic in the last week is the closing of Washington Avenue at Highway 10. A four-way stop has been placed at Lake Avenue and Highway 10.

"You're looking at the second week, early October, to reopen Washington (Avenue)," Johnson said.

Utility work is being completed at the site.

In about three weeks, a temporary traffic signal will be placed at Washington Avenue and Highway 10. Washington Avenue will be open with temporary paving, and next spring, the street will be closed again to pave the site where it ties into the highway.

After that opening this fall, Wahl said, the city will have to make a decision whether or not to keep the four-way stop at Washington Avenue and Grant Street, which was set in place because of detour routes.

"You can see we're working a lot of different areas," Johnson said, listing at least nine different areas of the city under construction tied into the Highway 10 project.

He said with all the construction though, traffic and safety has been good.

"I'm pleased with our safety records so far," he said.

"Traffic is still flowing smoothly. Not ideal, but it is flowing smoothly," Mn/DOT's Resident Construction Engineer Jeff Perkins said, mainly referencing the Highway 10 traffic at the Lake Avenue four-way stop.

"Calls coming in here have been very minimal," Wahl agreed.

Other points of interest in the project include:

n Highway 10 and Pelican River -- crews will get some work done on the westbound lanes of Highway 10, although the lanes won't see traffic this year.

n The retaining wall at Highway 10, near Holiday Inn, is finished. Backfill is going in, and the curb against the wall is going into place. Crews will also be preparing the existing frontage road -- in front of Country Kitchen -- to be tied into the new frontage road and the switch of traffic. Traffic will use the frontage road from North Shore Drive and Country Road 53/54 throughout the winter instead of Highway 10.

n Signals at Roosevelt Avenue and Eighth Street will be in place this week. They would have been installed already, but because of emergency re-routes due to the I-35W bridge collapse in the Twin Cities, the signals were needed in that area instead.

n A public meeting to discuss the replacement overlook wall near Holiday Inn will be Sept. 18 at 3:30 pm. in city hall.