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BE city projects delayed

By Staff | Jun 2, 2019

The final work on 13th and Moore Streets reconstruction project from last summer is to do a final lift of pavement. However, the rainy weather has repeatedly delayed the work. This scene at the corner of 13th and Main streets shows how the rain has been causing puddles and issues with completing the work.

All the rain that has fallen in the Faribault County area has caused problems for farmers, event planners and others.

It has also caused a rain delay on several of the major construction projects in Blue Earth.

And, these are not the 2019 construction projects, but the ones from last year, the 2018 construction season.

All of the utility work at the new housing project in the northeast side of the city was completed last summer, but the streets were not able to be completed due to high water levels in the neighboring pond.

The contractor agreed to finish the streets first thing this spring.

“Unfortunately the weather has been less than ideal this spring,” Blue Earth city administrator Tim Ibisch says. “Fortunately they were able to finally get the curb and gutter installed last week (week before Memorial Day Weekend).”

However, the curb and gutter needed three to six days to set up and that has meant a delay in the actual paving of the streets.

“If they can get a week of dry weather, or even pretty dry weather, they can get it done,” Ibisch says. “It really won’t take them that long, because it really is just three blocks long or so.”

The Blue Earth City Council has been anxious for the street to be installed, as the city’s Housing and Rehabilitation Authority (HRA) has partnered with the Southwest Minnesota Housing to build two new homes in the new housing development.

One of the new homes will be in the cul-de-sac area and the other on the east side of the main road. Both will be available for sale to the public.

The same problem with paving is also plaguing Blue Earth’s 2018 street project involving Moore and 13th Streets.

“The crews were actually able to do clean up work, finish the driveway approaches and lay sod on the boulevards,” Ibisch said. “But the rain has delayed the actual paving of the final lift on the streets.”

While the rain is wreaking havoc with many things, Ibisch says there is at least one thing about it that is beneficial.

“The rain should be helping the new sod really take off,” Ibisch says. “Unless it gets really hot and dry later, the sod should do really well.”

Blue Earth’s other paving work is set for the reconstructed wastewater treatment plant. Several of the roadways into, and inside the fenced-in area of the treatment plant, are still set for paving. That would be the final part of the two-year $8 million project.

“The plant is up and operating well; it is handling a lot of water,” Ibisch says. “Public Works Department director Jamie Holland is going to host an open house there in the near future to let the public come and see everything that has been done to improve the plant.”