The Highway 210 reconstruction project is now in its first full week and lane closures are merging motorists into single lanes of traffic in the project area.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation began redrawing the traffic lanes Monday. Wood smoke permeated the area Tuesday as trees were cleared for the temporary bypass, which will take vehicles to the south of the overpass bridges while the bridges are removed. Dirt moving for the bypass area was expected to continue today.
Expectations are to have traffic rerouted to the bypass by the first week of June. The bypass will be used through July. All the trees that need to be removed have already been taken down, Jamie Hukriede, MnDOT project engineer, reported at the weekly update this morning at the Westgate Mall.
Concrete removal on the main highway begins Thursday.
On side streets, Terry McFarlin, Anderson Brothers project manager, said paving on Fourth Street Northwest was expected today.
"That will be good news to everybody," he said.
Work is continuing on the storm sewer upgrade along James Street and Northwest Sixth Street. Storm-sewer pipe work should be completed by the end of the week. New curb and gutter work will also take place. Paving could begin by the end of next week, weather permitting.
Stormwater work will include part of Northwest Fifth Street near the James Street intersection, but that construction is expected to be completed in a few days. Monday crews began to work on the stormwater retention pond next to the Mississippi River at the end of Second Street Northwest. While few vehicles are being affected by that work, Anderson Brothers said the pond is critical to its overall stormwater efforts.
Crews continue to move utilities within the construction corridor for Brainerd Public Utilities, Charter Communications, Qwest and Minnegasco. Open for Business signs to help direct drivers to area businesses will be in place soon.
Grading on Charles Street and Baxter Drive is underway. Once traffic is rerouted to Charles Street as a detour, parking will be restricted along the street.
Today individual businesses had concerns about interruption in water. Tanner Motors was without phone lines for several hours and then was without water from noon one day to 7 a.m. the next with just five minutes notice. MnDOT project managers said they would stress the need for greater communication when such service was disrupted.
This first construction stage will continue through early June. Public meetings on the project are set 7:30 a.m. Wednesdays in the Westgate Mall in the Dairy Queen restaurant seating area.
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