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

Digging work kicked into high gear this week on Broadway between Fifth and Sixth Avenue. (Al Edenloff/Echo Press)

The rain last weekend didn’t slow down the contractor; they continue to make good progress. So far, so good!

Crews completed the installation of the new water main in Phase 1 and it’s being pressure tested and readied for connection to the buildings. That work continued through the week as more individual businesses were switched from the old main to the new.

The sanitary sewer has been extended to the mid-block between Fifth and Sixth Avenue and the contractor is extending services from the new main to the buildings. The storm sewer is going in just behind the sanitary sewer with sewer manholes and catch basins being installed along with the new main.

I received a great question from a reader this week asking about the new stoplights that will be installed on Broadway. They are going to be state-of-the-art, based on the latest MnDOT requirements. They are computerized, interconnected lights so they will be synchronized with each other. All three of the colors, red, green and yellow are LED lights, which are very energy efficient. They have pedestrian count-down timers that display the seconds remaining to cross the crosswalk and also have an audible signal. There is an emergency vehicle preemption system (EVP), which works on the sirens of the emergency vehicles. It is totally self-contained; there isn’t any special equipment required in the emergency vehicles.

Also, great news! An advance warning system will be going in on McKay and Highway 29. The lights were added to the project by MnDOT at our request, so they will be built this summer with the paving project

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This week, Charlie Vernlund from Charlie’s Bazaar shared her thoughts. “We are impressed how accommodating the crew has been. They inform us when the water has to be off even for a short time and have kept the dust contained. They even helped us put our shelves back after getting the water main in. We were a bit worried about our 100-year-old stone wall crumbling, but they informed us it was 30-inches thick!

“We are so blessed in our downtown area to have such a wonderful variety of shops, boutiques and cafes. We want to encourage the growing number of shoppers that travel here from the Cities area, Fargo and so many other areas to enjoy their time exploring the growing number of unique and interesting shops we have clustered together in one convenient area.”

I leave you with some words that say it all from Charlie: “Our historic downtown is truly the face of our community and it’s getting more attractive as we speak!”

Remember, all the stores are open and easy to get to.

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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.