The three roundabouts are open and traffic is circling through them. Gone are the detours around the construction that have been up since June. Even the short temporary road from the highway to the Blue Earth Wine and Spirits store has been removed. Businesses along the Highway 169 corridor are back to having customers come up to their front doors instead of through the back streets and alleys and they are happy about it.
Highway 169 is back to being open through Blue Earth and city and state officials are planning to celebrate the event this Thursday afternoon. And, so are local businesses.
Called "Celebrating in a Roundabout Way," all of the events are open to the public.
First on the agenda is the official ribbon cutting ceremony which is planned for 4 p.m. at the Seventh Street roundabout. Traffic will be briefly halted for a few words and a quick snip of the red ribbon officially opening the new road.
Next, the festivities move to the Public Safety Center (police and fire station). There, refreshments will be served by the city and the Blue Earth Chamber of Commerce.
Speakers and officials expected at the event include state Sen. Julie Rosen, state Rep. Bob Gunther, Faribault County Commissioner John Roper, Blue Earth Mayor Rick Scholtes, MnDOT district engineer Greg Ous and Blue Earth Area Chamber of Commerce director Cindy Lyon. Other members of the City Council, County Board, MnDOT and Ulland Brothers Construction are also expected to be attending.
At 5 p.m. on Thursday the Chamber is also helping host two "Business After Hours" events at two companies located along the new highway. These open houses will be held at Blue Earth Monument and at Wendland, Sellers & Bromeland law firm.
In addition, many other businesses along the Highway 169 'beltline' are having celebration specials in their stores. More information is listed in various advertisements inside this week's Faribault County Register.