Frequent rains change project plans

Construction on the Central Avenue resurfacing project ground to a halt Tuesday, June 26 as gray skies threatening more rain moved across the area.

As the construction season bulldozes on, the detours, road closed signs and truckloads of rubble continue to mark the often begrudged necessity of Minnesota summers.

For business owners along Central Avenue, the waiting period before the street is repaved is met with annoyed patience. While many have said the construction hasn’t exactly been great for business, they understand it’s a necessary inconvenience.

“It does affect us some, but it hasn’t been terrible,” Hobnetti’s owner Karen Christensen said. “The parking situation was bad to begin with, so this doesn’t help.”

Christensen shared confusions with fellow business owners about the resurfacing project.

“We were told they’d be doing it one section at a time, but then we were told they changed their mind and decided to tear it all up at once,” she said. “So I don’t know what the construction plans are now. We just have to be patient.”

County project manager Mike Anderson said the changes to the original plans were necessary because of uncooperative weather.

“Knife River fell behind due to weather issues. They asked us if they could remove the next segment and promised that they would make the south section black, then it rained again,” Anderson said. “We felt it better to keep working then to send the removal contractor home, as they often go to other jobs and won’t return when requested. It looks bad to have the street tore up and nobody working.”

The entire project is expected to be wrapped up by August, and until then, most businesses and patrons alike are hoping for clear skies.

For the full story, see the Thursday, June 28 print edition of the Times.