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A whole lot of digging going on

By Staff | Jun 2, 2014

One Blue Earth City Council member is getting a close up look at this summer’s street improvement project.

That’s because councilwoman Chelsey Haase and her family live on Second Street.

“My young sons are really enjoying watching all of the construction going on in front of our house,” she says. “They are boys, and so they love watching all the machinery at work.”

The Second Street project includes installing underground utilities of water, sewer and storm sewer. Then the street will be rebuilt with new sidewalks, curb and gutters and pavement.

The project goes from Holland Street to the west all the way east to Gorman Street.

Currently crews from Holtmeier Construction are working in two separate areas. On the west side, one crew is working on Second Street between Holland and midway between Linton and Nicollet streets. The other crew is busy on the east side of Main Street, from Main all the way to Galbraith. After removing the pavement, many trees and some of the boulevard areas, the workers have installed the water and sewer mains and now will be installing the hookups to individual houses.

After that, they will work on the storm sewer lines.

“People wonder why we just don’t tear up the street once and install all of the utilities at the same time,” says Bolton and Menk engineer Troy Vulkan. “They wonder why we dig it up, install a sewer line, cover it up, then come back and dig in another trench for the water line.”

The project’s supervising engineer says it is because each line is at a different depth, and in different areas of the street.

“We would have to dig up the whole street, with nowhere to put all the dirt, except in people’s yards, if we did it all at once,” he says. “So, we do one utility, then the next, then the third one.”

Vulkan says if the weather cooperates, street grading and gravel base could be done on the two blocks in the west end in the next two weeks. The utility work on the east side of Main will take longer, because there is more utility work involved he explains.

After that, he adds, crews will move on to the remaining blocks. The west end crew will start on the courthouse block of Second from Nicollet to Main Street. The east crew moves further east and will do the Second Street blocks from Galbraith to Gorman.