Lake Avenue project in Fairmont reaches midpoint

MAKING PROGRESS — A crew from Minneopa Concrete of Mankato spreads and smooths exposed-aggregate concrete into a form for the new roundabout this week at the intersection of Blue Earth Avenue and Downtown Plaza in Fairmont.

FAIRMONT — The Lake Avenue reconstruction project in Fairmont has hit the midway point of its 2020 component, and things are proceeding on schedule.

“Generally speaking, we’ve had good weather to get a lot of work done on the project,” said Troy Nemmers, Fairmont’s city engineer/public works director. “The rain the last few days has slowed things down a little bit, but the contractor was able to get a good portion of the underground utilities installed.”

Concrete for the center island of the Downtown Plaza roundabout, one of the most noticeable new features of the project, was poured earlier this week.

Construction on the $4.8 million improvement project began July 28. Nemmers said the project is slated for “substantial completion” by Oct. 30, but the final completion date after laying the asphalt and sodding is June 25, 2021.

Crow River Construction of New London is the project contractor, and crews have been working on a two-week rotation of 10 days on and four days off.

Because of the scope of the project and to allow continued access to businesses and residences on the construction route, the work has been split into four phases. The first phase began on Downtown Plaza and ran west to Main Street. The second phase will switch to Fourth Street at the other end of the construction zone.

“Sometime in the next two weeks, we should be transitioning into the second phase,” Nemmers said. “We’ll flip to Fourth Street and start working back. That will trigger some changing traffic patterns again.”

During construction, certain one-way streets, such as South Main Street and a portion of Downtown Plaza, have temporarily been switched to two-way traffic to allow business and residential access.

“From what I’ve heard, it’s worked quite well. We haven’t really had any issues. Other than the first day or two when people were trying to figure out where they could and couldn’t go, it’s been pretty smooth. Everyone seems to have figured out their best route,” Nemmers said.

Updated information on the project’s progress is available on the city’s website at www.fairmont.org by clicking on “2020 Lake Ave Improvements” under Popular Links on the left side of the screen.


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