By Paige Kieffer
The Second Street road construction project from the five corners to Water Street in Excelsior is estimated to be completed by the week of Labor Day, weather permitting.
The project, which started earlier this summer, was supposed to last six weeks but has been extended to 24 weeks.
Excelsior Public Works Superintendent Tim Amundsen said that during the past two weeks that the contractor for Excelsior, Northwest Asphalt, and a contractor for Centerpoint Energy, Michels, completed all utility installations on phase 1 of the project, which is from Water Street to the five corners on Second Street.
In addition, all asphalt has been removed on Second Street from Center Street to Water Street, as part of phase 2. The water main pipe was also fused for Phase 2 and has been directionally drilled. The water main pipes have been fused on Phase 3 of the project, along with the pipe for the Mill Street water main installation. The contractor will also start utility installations, as part of phase 2, during the next two weeks.
Amundsen said that this week and next week, the crews will removal curb, sidewalk and driveway aprons that will occur on phase 1. Also, in phase 1, the roadway will be sub-cut and prepared for curb installation and paving.
Curb, driveway, and sidewalk concrete will be poured and Mill Street water main work will begin this week.
In late September, crews are expected to begin work on Third Street, which could be completed this year if the weather permits.
To sign up for updates on the street and utility improvement project, visit bit.ly/2vQbKwd.
Construction effects Second Street businesses
Road access to local businesses has been quite difficult, including a business delivery truck that tipped over after its tires hit a hole in the road at Water Street and Second Street. This incident caused fuel to leak from the truck, but the spill was contained by the Excelsior Fire District.
Businesses on Second Street have also reported losses with the project.
Roger Koehnen, owner of the BP Gas Station, reported Aug. 7 to the city council that he’s been having difficulties with communication on issues with the city, the construction liaison WSB and Associates and the contractors. A couple of times he was able to meet with WSB and Associates and Amundsen to resolve a few issues, including improving access to Second Street. WSB did place a signs up that lists all the businesses that can be accessed and “business traffic only” signs.
Still Koehnen reported suffering significant losses because the project was greatly extended past its original end time.
“This is going to put me out of business,” he said. “Business has suffered greatly and the way my business is now I know how it’s going to continue down the road.”
Koehnen asked the city council to review the city’s contract with the contractors and see if any wrongdoings have occurred with the project. As of Aug. 20, the city is still reviewing the contract.
“I believe that when this project had been doubled and doubled again to a six-week project to a 12-week project and now to a 24-week project. Somebody, whoever designed this road, whoever engineered this road and the people that lay the plans of this company are reliable,” said Koehnen. “I’d like the council to find out if they have any insurance and that WSB is accountable for the way they’re treating the city and the people of this city. Somehow, I hate to say it, I know I’m the worst-case scenario, but I think I need the city to follow through on what their contracts are. With this road closed stuff, if they have done anything against the contract that they’re supposed to do. All I can see is that they have done nothing for the city, only themselves.”
Local businesses have offered deals for filling up at the station or for visiting other Second Street businesses:
-Hair stylist Sue Craig is offering $10 off a haircut at her salon, if the customer fills up at the BP Gas Station and brings in receipt. Call or text 952-484-3368 to schedule an appointment.
-Tracie Bea Photographie offering a free print, a $34 value, when a customer books a photo session with her and shares a receipt from an affected Second Street business. For more information, visit traciebeaphotographie.com or email [email protected]
-Victor’s on Water is offering a free drink with a $20 or more receipt from any Second Street business. Only one receipt can be used by one customer per day. For more information, visit victorsonwaterstreet.com or call 952-474-8879.
Koehnen said, “I’d like to thank all the customers and businesses who’ve helped out not just me, but all of us on Second Street.”
Follow Paige Kieffer on Facebook at facebook.com/mnsunsailor.