Because of unusually warm weather coupled with a lack of snowfall, reconstruction of the Broadway Avenue corridor commenced earlier in 2012 than what was anticipated.
“We’ve had such a mild winter,” said Mindy Leadholm, Washington County’s business liaison on the Forest Lake “Mega Project.”
At the Wednesday, March 14 neighborhood meeting at American Legion Post 225, she provided an update on the work that began this Monday.
Despite a state government shutdown last summer, Leadholm said Mora-based Redstone Construction Co. was able to be ahead of schedule by having completed replacement of a deep sanitary sewer line from 3rd to 6th streets late last year.
The project is underway six weeks earlier than the May 6, 2011 date when the I-35 bridge at Broadway Ave. was closed to traffic and later removed.
Reconstruction will continue east of 7th Street to Centennial Drive, matching into where improvements were previously terminated. The work includes excavation for utility upgrades, storm sewer installation, placement of new curb and gutter and medians, concrete paving, new traffic signal at 4th Street, and trails and sidewalks.
The planned sequence for this segment is to first reconstruct the north side of Broadway Ave. while maintaining one lane of traffic in each direction on the southside.
Once the north side can be opened to traffic, the south side will be reconstructed, followed by work in the median and boulevard areas. Other activities that will be going on throughout the project site include lighting and landscaping.
The goal is to have the work finished by this fall. Regardless of where construction is at during Forest Lake’s Fourth of July celebration, Leadholm said the contractor is aware the area should be “cleaned up.”
“Everything needs to be safe for that week,” she said.
Leadholm was asked if the backage road – NW 1st Avenue – behind Broadway businesses was going to be extended to the east to connect with NW 7th St.
She said the Forest Lake City Council has discussed the possibility, but it would be well after the county’s Mega Project is done.
“It could potentially happen in the future,” Leadholm added.
Motorists traveling in the construction are encouraged to drive with care.
At the Monday, March 12 Forest Lake City Council meeting, members approved a proposal in the amount of $22,573 from Xcel Energy to install four street lights on the northside of NW 1st Ave.
If no delays occur in material ordering, the colonial fixtures would tentatively be erected in mid-May.
The next neighborhood meeting is set for 8 a.m., Thursday, March 22 at Mansetti’s, 555 W. Broadway Ave.
For more details on the construction, visit www.broadwayaveforestlake.info. From the website, you can find the project’s Facebook page, sign-up to receive e-mail updates, and follow BroadwayAveFL on Twitter.