Wendy Reuer, Published April 03 2012
Work on Main Avenue in Moorhead to begin earlyMOORHEAD – Drivers here will see construction on Main Avenue start by the end of the month, as Moorhead Public Service prepares to replace the water main underneath it.
The project, which replaces the water main between Fourth and Eighth streets, is in conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s reconstruction of Main Avenue from the Red River to Eighth Street.
MnDOT work will begin around July 1, the deadline for MPS to finish water main work, said Jared Heller, a water distribution engineer for the utility.
Heller said at a public meeting about the project Tuesday that the mild spring weather allows MPS to begin its work by the end of the month.
MPS Commission Secretary Les Bakke said traffic will be reduced to one lane each way on the southern side of Main Avenue during construction.
“We have to make sure to leave room for customers to get to those businesses,” Bakke said.
Troy Deleon, owner of Dairy Queen on the corner of Eighth Street and Main Avenue, said he expects traffic to his shop will be down due to construction, but the Dairy Queen will remain open all summer.
“I’m sure it’s going to because it’ll cut out about half the cars that go by,” he said. “When you’re right by the place you tend to stop by.”
Deleon said MPS and MnDOT officials have told him they are willing to work with him to avoid interrupting business.
Despite the trouble, Deleon said it will be worth it.
“It’s just like the Veterans (Memorial) Bridge. When they were working on it, it was a hassle but look at it now; it’s wonderful.”
Resident Sel Nygard said any improvements are good for downtown Moorhead. Nygard said he would like to see the city work at making downtown traffic flow better all around.
Bakke said working in conjunction with MnDOT will prevent two separate interruptions to traffic so it made sense to do the much-needed project now.
Some of the water mains were originally installed in the 1920s and 1930s, Heller said.
The $500,000 project will be paid for through utility fees. No businesses or residents will be specially assessed, Heller said. He said the new water main will last 100 years or more.
MnDOT will also be working on Highway 10/75 between 34th Street and Eighth Street and on Eighth Street between Center Avenue and 40th Avenue.
MnDOT will replace six traffic signals, improve pedestrian accessibility and install a HAWK crosswalk signal at the 10th Avenue intersection.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530
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