BLUE EARTH - An unfinished construction project has some Blue Earth residents wondering if they will be driving on gravel until spring, but the end is actually in sight.
General contractor GM Contracting of Lake Crystal has been working on Highland Drive for months, but missed the Oct. 1 deadline.
"The contract is written so after the completion date [is missed], there is a $500 a day penalty," said Dana Draper, resident project representative for Bolton & Menk, the engineering firm overseeing the project for the city.
She said the project is about a month behind and should be completed by the end of October.
A Monday night downpour did not affect the project, she noted.
"A couple of weeks ago, the rain slowed us down," Draper said. "Now that we've got the gravel base down, the rain doesn't slow us down a whole lot."
However, if it continues to rain in coming days, that could cause a problem.
"We can't pour concrete while it's raining," Draper said.
On Tuesday, crews finished prep work for driveways, taking out concrete and clay underneath where new driveways will go.
Today, crews will put in curb and gutter, which should take two or three days to finish, Draper said, with one eye on the weather report.
"If it's a light mist, we can do curb and gutter. If it's coming down substantially, they can't do it," she said. "The forecast looks promising.
"The next step is to do the final grading on the gravel base," she said. "After that, we will be doing the concrete driveway aprons, which should take one to two weeks.
"After that, the final step is to pave," Draper said.