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South 6th Street project on final segment: Work continues on Excelsior Road at Cypress and Edgewood

The $5.7 million South Sixth Street reconstruction project is on the final segment between Pine and Washington streets. Work is expected to continue to mid-October. The project is replacing the city's underground water and sewer system from south...

The $5.7 million South Sixth Street reconstruction project is on the final segment between Pine and Washington streets. Work is expected to continue to mid-October. Submitted photo / Sue Sterling
The $5.7 million South Sixth Street reconstruction project is on the final segment between Pine and Washington streets. Work is expected to continue to mid-October. Submitted photo / Sue Sterling

The $5.7 million South Sixth Street reconstruction project is on the final segment between Pine and Washington streets.

Work is expected to continue to mid-October. The project is replacing the city's underground water and sewer system from south to north. As of Friday, Aug. 24, the Minnesota Department of Transportation reported South Sixth Street is closed from Pine Street to Highway 210 until mid-October. Cross street traffic will be maintained to continue access to downtown Brainerd.

The redesigned South Sixth Street, or Business Highway 371, is creating:

• Highway 210/Washington Street to Front Street: Intersection access lanes, railroad crossing;

• Front Street to Quince Street: Five lanes with two northbound and southbound lanes and a continuous center left-turn lane; and

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• Quince Street to Joseph Street: Three lanes with one northbound and southbound lane and a continuous center left-turn lane.

Wider sidewalks, upgraded signal systems, new road signs and overhead LED street lights are all part of this project. The existing highway was built in 1957 with the underground pipes dating back to 1908. The construction project on South Sixth Street extends from Washington Street on the north to Joseph Street to the south.

Excelsior Road/Cypress Drive

Excelsior Road, closed for six weeks as of July 30 for the Cypress Drive work, is expected to reopen to through traffic by mid-September.

The contractor, Landwehr Construction Inc., has been working on street, trail and pond grading along with storm sewer, culverts, and water main underground pipe work, reported Scott Hedlund, senior project manager, in an email update Friday, Aug. 24.

"Their main focus remains on work north of the railroad tracks. There was a planned water main shutdown affecting some customers in the Excelsior Road/Cypress Drive intersection area and to the east the night of Aug. 23," Hedlund stated.

After Excelsior reopens, Cypress Drive will remain closed. Hedlund stated business access off Excelsior is and will remain open during construction. Businesses with special access considerations will continue to be coordinated with individually by Short Elliott Hendrickson and/or Landwehr. There is a signed detour route for Excelsior Road through traffic via Highway 210.

This week, Landwehr plans to continue focusing on work north of the BNSF railroad tracks, including grading and storm sewer work. Efforts include starting road building on Excelsior Road with placement of aggregate base and concrete curb and gutter work.

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"We are not anticipating any more temporary water shutdowns affecting properties north of the railroad tracks with this project," Hedlund stated. "Underground pipe work between the railroad and Industrial Park Road is also planned to begin the week of Aug. 27."

Excelsior Road/Edgewood Drive

Chuck Rickart, senior project manager, reported last week work continued on the grading and placing the gravel base for the new parking lot in the area between the strip mall (Boomer Pizza) and Holiday Stationstore on the old Edgewood Drive.

In addition, Rickart in an email report stated contractors began to work on items along the new Edgewood Drive that do not impact traffic flow, such as light pole removal and storm sewers, and continued on Excelsior Road behind the curb on the new trail and landscaping.

This week, the contractor will continue to work in the same areas.

"They are planning on finishing the grading and placing some of the curb and gutter in the area between the strip mall and Holiday and working on other areas that do not impact traffic flow," Rickart stated. "After Labor Day you will see more activity in the parking lot between Cub Foods and the strip mall (Boomer Pizza) on the new Edgewood Drive alignment.

"No access to or from Edgewood Drive will be provided from Excelsior Road until the work adjacent to Cub Foods and the strip mall (Boomer Pizza) is completed and open to traffic."

Access to the businesses with driveways on Excelsior Road is open to normal traffic.

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Access to the businesses on Edgewood Drive is provided through the Highway 371 and Design Drive intersection. Traffic exiting the area to the north still needs to use Edgewood Drive to Woida Road. Rickart noted signs will be in place directing traffic to the Edgewood Drive businesses

This phase of the work on the new parking lot by Boomer Pizza, the old path where Edgewood Drive connected with Excelsior, is expected to continue through the end of August. Site improvements for the new Edgewood Drive/Cub Foods site are expected Sept. 4-28 with substantial completion for the project-meaning all roads and traffic will be open-expected by Oct. 12. Final completion is planned by Nov. 16, depending on the weather.

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