Construction projects continue following wet summer

Friday, August 10, 2018
Construction on the Fourth Avenue West Storm Sewer Project will come to a temporary halt during the Clay County Fair. The intersections of Fourth Avenue West and West Sixth Street, as well as Fourth Avenue West and West 14th Street, will be open for traffic during fair season as well. White said the city has been working with fair officials since the two-year second phase of the project began, and said the contractors have made “good progress.”
File photo

With the early summer season spent mostly underwater, construction crews in the city of Spencer are back to work inching towards each project’s completion date as six weeks of summer remain. Spencer Public Works Director Mark White shared the status of the city’s most noteworthy projects and what citizens can expect as the calendar nears the start of fall and Clay County Fair season.

Fourth Avenue West Storm Sewer Project

White said the undertaking to separate sewer lines along Fourth Avenue West faced a setback due to the summer flooding, but noted the project is only in the first year of its two-year completion date.

“Early on the weather significantly impacted the project,” White said. “I believe the contractor has made good progress when conditions have allowed. They’ve torn out pavement up to 16th Street at this time.”

A common concern raised about the project, both during phase one of the project and this year, is consideration for travel during fair season. White said accommodations have been part of the plan from the project’s beginning.

“We’ve received a few questions in regards to coordinating the project with the fair,” White said. “From the beginning the fair has been involved through the planning stages and the execution of the project. They’re well aware of it and are an important partner.

He continued, “Part of the construction specifications were to have West 14th Street open and West Sixth Street open at Fourth Avenue. So there will be the ability to cross Fourth Avenue at both of those intersections. The contractor is also not allowed to work on that during the fair.”

East Fourth Street Utility extension and 11th Avenue SW Sewer extension projects

The Fourth Avenue Storm Sewer Project contractor, Hulstein Excavating, will also be working on two other projects in the city, the 11th Avenue SW Sewer Extension Project and the East Fourth Street Utility Extension Project. The 11th Avenue SW Sewer Extension Project will bring a sanitary sewer to the 2800 block of 11th Avenue SW, connecting to Alliant Energy’s planned operations center, Noteboom Implement and area landowners.

“We also have the East Fourth Street Utility Extension Project,” White said. “That’s extending water and sewer east on the north side of Fourth Street.”

The public works director said Hulstein Excavating planned to utilize the crews working on the Fourth Avenue West Storm Sewer Project on the 11th Avenue SW project during the project’s fair time break. Both projects are scheduled for completion in 2018, with 11th Avenue SW scheduled for completion on Sept. 14 and East Fourth Street scheduled for completion in mid-December.

Other projects

White also detailed other projects going on this year, including a new undertaking located near Tompkins Court.

“During routine sewer maintenance we identified a portion of sanitary sewer that is in poor condition on West Fourth Street,” White said. “That would be at Tompkins Court, there’s about 80 feet that we will be replacing this fall. Part of the line is missing on the top of the line, you certainly don’t want to have that type of failure in winter months.”

The city department head said the project would require a few weeks for completion and would be weather dependent.

“Part of the specifications for West Fourth Street is to maintain one lane of traffic flow,” White said.

Other projects in the city will address general maintenance throughout Spencer.

“You’ll see seal coating starting next Tuesday weather permitting,” White said. “That goes pretty quick. We’ll have the 2018 HMA Overlay Project, which is a mill and overlay of some streets and there’s a tentative start date of September on that. There’s two phases on that — the contractor laying the asphalt and a subcontractor doing the concrete work — which will have to bring sidewalk ramps up to ADA specifications as well as gutter repairs and that type of thing.

He continued, “We also have a miscellaneous PCC patching project throughout the community, intake rehabilitation and manhole rehabilitation as well. All of those projects are important, but I don’t expect too much disruption for the maintenance projects.”

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