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Mayor's Minute: Thoughts from Sara Carlson, Alexandria Mayor, The buzz on Broadway

Josh Zeithamer

Phase One businesses have new sidewalk

All of the businesses in Phase One finally have front door access via the new sidewalk. The home-grown contractor, Josh Zeithamer, is now working very hard on the installation of the brick pavers. Josh also told me he hoped to have several of the planter boxes in by the end of the week. These boxes are made of precast concrete and also serve as seating areas. These boxes are located at the bump-outs. He partnered with Gary Brundell Landscaping to work on pavers to help get them done. Zeithamer will also do site furnishings and irrigation.

Also this week, Alexandria Electric started installing the new street lights. They should all be up by the time you read this, if all goes well.

Striping should be done this week as well, which will really bring a pop of color to the street. All this means that Phase One is really, finally, drawing to a close.

Finishing work will continue and plantings will not be done until a later time. But, it will be over. That’s a big sigh of relief and we can get ready for a celebration, most definitely, on August 1 with Party on Broadway.

The Phase Two work continues and is going well. The contractor has now installed the sanitary sewer, water main and storm sewer main and is working on the installation of the water and sewer services. Work is proceeding well there at this point.

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This week as you can tell, I am writing all about local contractors.

Meet Tim Schoonhoven, our city engineer, and Jeff Kuhn, the Broadway project engineer, both from WSN and the men who look after the city and MnDOT’s interests as the city and MnDOT signed a cooperative agreement to work together on this project.

Jeff is on the site every day with direct supervision working with David Swafford, project manager of Sellin Bros. You’ll meet him and some of his crew in a couple weeks. He makes on-site decisions every day that are in the interest of the city getting the best project they can get. If something goes wrong – and it has – he is there making the decision about what to do and how to solve it.

If anything is unclear in the specifications or plans, Jeff will clarify and keep the project moving forward. Jeff said, “Decisions are happening on the spot in real time.”

Jeff has 20 years of experience that help him keep his cool under pressure.

Tim added, “Really, in a project this big there is something every day that needs to be addressed. It might not be major, but there will be something.”

Glad we have those guys working for us!

The last local guy to meet is Mark Lee. He has removed blacktop and concrete and brought in sub grade and select granular and replaced class 5 as well as blacktopped for this project. He is a busy guy! He stopped long enough for a picture and then was off again. I am glad we have some local contractors working on this project!

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Feel free to contact me at: or write to City Hall at 704 Broadway; or to the Echo Press at PO Box 549, Alexandria MN 56308.