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

Spring is finally here! That means the construction season is upon us!

During the downtown Broadway revitalization, I will be writing a weekly column aimed at keeping you up to date with what is happening on the project.

0 Talk about it

It is a very exciting time for the city and the merchants downtown. There is a lot going on, starting on Monday, May12 with a groundbreaking celebration at 9 a.m. in the Downtown Municipal Liquor Store parking lot. And with that, we will have begun the process.

The Broadway reconstruction project is visibly gearing up for Monday’s start.

Changeable electronic information signs are now operational on the detour routes. These signs will help traffic negotiate the detours and can be changed throughout the summer as the project proceeds through the phases.

Equipment and construction materials are being delivered.

Regular project coordinating meetings are starting. Notices are going out. Contractor personnel along with city representatives have been contacting Phase-One businesses directly and visiting many of the store basements to determine how individual utilities will be connected.

There are three phases for this project to keep it moving as smoothly as possible.

The Phase-One completion date is July 3, 2014 and includes all of the work (except landscaping) from the north end of the project, between Third and Fourth Avenue, to just north of Sixth Avenue.

The Phase-Two completion date is July 25, 2014 and includes the work at the Sixth Avenue intersection (except landscaping). The Sixth Avenue intersection is a phase by itself because it is such an important intersection in the downtown area. Again, this is an effort to keep the project running efficiently.

The Phase-Three and the overall substantial completion date is October 2, 2014 and includes all of the work between Sixth Avenue and Eighth Avenue.

The final overall completion date is October 17, 2014.

A word of caution is that these dates are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the contractor’s control.

The most common of these would be delays caused by the discovery of unknown utilities or contaminated soils. On this project, we expect to find some things in Broadway that are unmapped and will have to be dealt with in the field. We will have to deal with these one at a time as they come up.

Please remember there are 170 stores in the downtown area and they will be open for business during the entire process. All stores will have access to them at all times.

Also, Third Avenue will be open all the time. There is no work being done there.

Sixth Avenue is open during Phase-One and Phase-Three, so don’t be afraid to head downtown on those avenues.

Construction will begin on Monday, May 12, but the detours will go up late Sunday night. Although it won’t appear there is much activity, the first week of construction will consist of removal of the existing asphalt and concrete pavement, removal of the electrical foundations, removal of underground utilities and excavation of the roadbed. There will be a lot happening that is behind the scenes and below the street!

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Ron Moritz from Yesterdays had some insightful comments this week. He said he is hopeful and knows that the economic as well as cosmetic impacts are going to be great. “We want to be a destination in our downtown and it’s an invitation to stay!” Moritz said, “After 20 years in business and watching business fluctuate, this is the frosting on the cake! Now we will be as beautiful on the outside as we try and make our stores on the inside. I am anxious and excited.”

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I look forward to spending a little time together talking about the Broadway project each week. Please check in so you know the latest scoop on the street and if you have questions, e-mail me at: or write to City Hall at 704 Broadway; or to the Echo Press at PO Box 549, Alexandria MN 56308.