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By Marvin Baker
Brace yourself, Sixth Street is going to be closed all summer as a construction crew works to completely renovate about a mile of the road from the railroad tracks near the Des Lacs Wildlife Refuge to U.S. Highway 52.
David Roedel, the project manager with Moore Engineering in Minot, said there’s good news and bad news in the reconstruction of Sixth Street that began this week.
“Unfortunately, we’re reconstructing that road because it isn’t designed for truck traffic,” Roedel said. “And we’ve put together a plan for the future of that roadway that will allow truck traffic.”
Sixth Street is going to be closed for the duration of the project, which should take until mid September, according to Roedel.
That means truck traffic coming from west of Kenmare will have to be rerouted around Des Lacs Lake until fall.
Roedel said he expects the entire project to be completed in time for producers to get their harvest to area elevators in a timely manner.
“I empathize with people, but there’s really only one good road east and that’s Sixth Street,” Roedel said. “As it is, trucks shouldn’t be driving on it anyway.”
“We take this very seriously,” he continued. If truck drivers can put up with this for one construction season, they should be able to get their harvest in.”
By design, segments of the road will be worked on at one time. In other words, the entire road won’t be torn apart at once, according to Roedel.
He said the plan is to begin on the west side with Wagner Construction slowly working its way east until it reaches its eastern boundary, which is U.S. Highway 52.
“There will always be a north-south route for emergencies,” Roedel said. “Central Avenue will always be open until First Avenue Northwest or First Avenue Northeast is finished, then Central Avenue will be shut down.”
The time line, which Roedel said is running on a fast track, is expected to take until mid September.
It began last week with setting stakes and staging road closure and detour signs.
Pavement removal was expected to get under way this week and sometime in June, storm sewer work will commence.
“Concrete paving will start in mid July and there should be two months of paving work,” Roedel said. “Then it will be restoration, top soil fill and seeding.”
In the meantime, anyone west of Kenmare will have to deal with driving around the lake.
“Car passenger traffic will be detoured one block south,” Roedel said. “And those whose driveways front Sixth Street, they will have to use side streets until we’re finished.”
Brock Storrusten, an engineer with Moore Engineering, said there is a set detour for trucks, however, he didn’t describe exactly where that detour will be set up.
Storrusten said if residents weren’t able to attend a public meeting on Thursday night in Kenmare, weekly construction updates will be available to keep the public informed on the progress of the project.
The reconstruction is a joint program between the city of Kenmare and Ward County. It has been discussed for several months and after alternate plans were initiated, the real work began.
“This is on a fast track,” Roedel said. “There’s a lot moving quickly and it has been since May 16...” Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!