Phase 3 begins<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 --><br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Phase 3 of the detour through Spring Grove began on Thursday as the Division Avenue intersection was closed and pavement was removed. The photo shows the construction of the intersection looking north toward the American Legion and Wilmington Insurance. Other progress of the project this week included paving from west termini of the project to 3rd Avenue SW and hooking up temporary water bypass lines. Plans for next week’s work, weather permitting, include pouring curb and gutter east of Division Avenue, finishing the pouring of sidewalk and pedestrian ramps west of Division Avenue, and sanitary sewer, water main, and storm sewer work at the Division Avenue intersection. Work was also slated to begin on Monday (when the paper went to print) on Highway 44 from Spring Grove to Highway 52. Milling of the bituminous roadway surface was to begin with a pilot car controlling traffic.
Phase 3 begins



Phase 3 of the detour through Spring Grove began on Thursday as the Division Avenue intersection was closed and pavement was removed. The photo shows the construction of the intersection looking north toward the American Legion and Wilmington Insurance. Other progress of the project this week included paving from west termini of the project to 3rd Avenue SW and hooking up temporary water bypass lines. Plans for next week’s work, weather permitting, include pouring curb and gutter east of Division Avenue, finishing the pouring of sidewalk and pedestrian ramps west of Division Avenue, and sanitary sewer, water main, and storm sewer work at the Division Avenue intersection. Work was also slated to begin on Monday (when the paper went to print) on Highway 44 from Spring Grove to Highway 52. Milling of the bituminous roadway surface was to begin with a pilot car controlling traffic.
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Ongoing Main Street construction issues dominated the agenda when Spring Grove's city council met on Sept. 17.

"The plan is to pave 3rd Avenue to 3rd Avenue West tomorrow with the bottom lift of bituminous," engineer Tim Hruska of WHKS & Co. told members. The north detour route will be off on Sept. 19, with traffic "officially" routed to the south. On Sept. 20, the old pavement at the Division intersection started coming out.

Work near Division kicks off the last part of the highway project, Hruska said. This week, the contractor will begin to finish up underground water, sewer, and utilities in that zone. At the same time, curb and gutter work between 2nd and 3rd Avenues NE will begin. "Hopefully, they'll work on that end, then hop back over to the west side of Division and get all the spots that they haven't gotten tidied up yet," he added. Those areas include pedestrian ramps, which are set to be completed by Sept. 27.

Hruska said one big question is still unanswered.

"I asked the contractor, 'What's your schedule? Are you thinking you're going to get done on time? He said, We're hoping to."

"There's a lot of things that just need to happen," Hruska reminded the council. "Plenty of pieces to come together, but I'm thinking we're going to start seeing a lot of progress here in the next couple weeks."

The bituminous plant should arrive in the area during the first week in October. Paving from Division to 3rd will happen soon after, putting the remainder of the base coat in place.

Residents should begin seeing black dirt arrive in landscape areas at the same time, with sod to follow. "There's been a delay on sod due to the lack of moisture," Hruska said, but conditions are improving.

"So what is the finish date?" Councilman Robert Vogel asked.

"The end date has not changed," Hruska replied. "I believe it's Oct. 30. He (the contractor) was hesitant to say it, but we do have that contract in there and there are liquidated damages for failure to complete... for the roadway to be back open."

Other work (behind the curb) will run into November. "I don't envision that everything will be done by the end of October," Hruska stated, "but we should be open to traffic, at least."

Streetlights should be delivered during the first or second week in October, he reported. "The bases are in, so the installation on those should go quick."

Mayor Bruce Poole said that the Division intersection is a key spot as far as below ground infrastructure.

Hruska agreed. "It's the last unknown," he stated. "With everything else, we've dug through and we know what we've got to deal with."

"We're down to 200 feet of a 2,800 foot job... It's going to take a few days of piping to wrap up that intersection. Everything's got to come together in that spot. Fitting the last couple pieces of the jigsaw together will take a little bit of time."

Vogel asked Hruska to deliver a "memorandum" that lists all the changes that have occurred during the construction project. Those would include everything that has been buried below the surface.

"Relatively speaking, besides a few tweaks here and there, everything's gone pretty much according to plan," Hruska said. "We've been keeping track dollar-wise where the project is at compared to the original contract. The city is on the good side of the balance sheet to-date."

"We modified the water service sizes. We took out the ornamental railing, saving $46,000. We've added in (geo-tech supportive) fabric, and a couple small things. We've got some additional topsoil that we're going to need that we weren't able to salvage. But what I'm feeling is... that we're still in the black."

One of the changes is the elimination of a planting bed in the southeast quadrant of the Division interchange. Hruska said it was cut due to an underlying vault (basement).

Vogel asked about several areas along Main Street with drainage issues.

"This project's been designed from the center of the street outward," he noted. "The farther you get from the center, the less attention there is to making things better. We've produced a satisfactory highway but we haven't solved a lot of the property-specific problems. Since we took all this time, it seems unfortunate. I'm disappointed that we weren't able to fix some of these things... We're not going to take it apart and put it back together."

"I think we did make a fair amount of improvement to it," Hruska said. "The problem with a reconstruction is you can't fix every problem along the way... There are always constraints."

Soon after, the meeting was closed for over a half-hour to discuss "two potential litigations" with city attorney Joe Hammell.

"There were a number of issues (discussed) with regard to the construction project and what the city's responsibility is to private landowners," Hammell reported when the meeting reopened. "I think we've come to some conclusions on how to deal with each individual thing. The engineer will be working with a couple of issues. If anybody has any questions that's a private landowner, I'd be happy to answer those directly with those persons... They can feel free to call me at any time."

"We also have an issue that has to do with a sidewalk in front of 'The Lions' Den.' The sidewalk has to be replaced for safety reasons..."

Councilmember Nancy Nelson motioned to authorize Hammell to begin the legal process required for the city to have that portion of the sidewalk that is on private property replaced. The public portion is already being redone. It passed by unanimous vote.

Other news:

Members voted to offer to pay for a dust control application on a private lane between the Fest Building and Ellingson Elevator, which is heavily traveled due to detours. Nelson cast a lone "no" vote. The cost for the treatment was estimated at $700.

Public Utilities Director Paul Morken asked for direction on pump repairs for well number four. Members supported his suggestion to repair the existing turbine pump (total cost: approximately $70,000) rather than putting in a new submersible unit for a total cost of $94,719.

A motion to investigate new Christmas lights to go with the new streetlamps also met with approval. Nelson cast the only "no" vote on the suggestion to proceed at this particular time. Commercial Club member Sarah Schroeder said that organization might want to partner with the city on the project.

City clerk/treasurer Erin Konkel reported that the totals are in, and pool management company USA Pools owes the city $15,509, including unmet payroll. That issue has already been approved for litigation through Hammell.