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Construction in BE getting serious

Engineer explains why Main Street intersections had to be closed

By Chuck Hunt - Editor | May 30, 2021

Bolton & Menk engineer Ben Rosol stands on 10th Street with Main Street in the background. Underground work is set to start Tuesday of this week

Street projects in Blue Earth started sometime ago, but now will begin the major work beginning Tuesday, June 1, according to officials.

The two projects include underground utility work as well as pavement, curb and gutter and some sidewalk replacements.

One of the projects involves West 10th Street, South Nicollet and all of Bartel Drive. The other one involves Hood and Walnut streets.

“Most of the prep work has been completed,” says Bolten & Menk engineer Ben Rosol. “That included removing the pavement, curb and gutter and getting the temporary water lines in place.”

Residents of Blue Earth were surprised when two intersections of Main Street were blocked off and construction started at 10th and Main and Bartel Drive and Main.

Those intersections were dug up to install water main shut off valves, Rosol explained.

“We needed to put those in place so we could shut off water just to the area that will be under construction, and not to whole sections of the city,” he said. “The residents in the construction area will still have water to their homes, through temporary water lines running along the front yards.”

He added that water will be off in the project areas for a while on Tuesday when the switch to the temporary lines is made.

Some of the other holes in the streets, such as at the intersection of Nicollet and Ninth, were dug in order to put water shut off valves in those areas as well.

Rosol explained that the two Main Street intersections were always going to be dug up anyway, because the water and sewer lines of the project areas will connect to the ones in Main Street.

“The first block to be dug up will be 10th Street from Main to Nicollet,” Rosol said. “That way we can get that part of the project done, with sewer and water mains, hook into the ones on Main Street and then the intersection of 10th and Main will be able to open back up in three weeks or so, with a gravel base.”

Rosol also says with two crews working in town on the two projects, he expects the work will be able to progress at a good pace, weather providing, of course.

“The plan is to get 10th Street done, and back to a gravel surface, before they start on South Nicollet,” he explained. “Then it is Bartel Drive, which will remain open with a gravel surface until the work starts there later.”

It is a similar story for Hood and Walnut streets. Work will be done on Hood first, then Walnut.

The work on Hood Street started a little earlier than expected and underground work is also expected to start right away. The pipe work on Hood is expected to take about a month to complete.

“This contractor is very conscientious about trying to do things in a way that is least disruptive,” Rosol says. “Of course, there will be times that access to homes will be very limited, but we will try to be as accommodating as we can.”

Residents of the two project areas, as well as any interested citizens, can keep up with the work on the street projects on a special website.

The link can be accessed off the city of Blue Earth’s website, or directly at https://clients.bolton-menk.com/be2021

After that, click on which project you want to view. There is an area for a weekly update on progress and what is coming up, and one that is an overview of the entire work being done.

In addition, contact information to find out more about the project, or to get answers to questions about the work being done, is also available on the website.

Work is expected to continue through the fall.