The city of Alexandria received a “City of Excellence” award for the Broadway reconstruction project.

City leaders accepted the honor at the League of Minnesota Cities annual conference in Duluth Wednesday.

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Alexandria was the winner of the league’s award presented to cities with populations ranging between 5,000 and 19,999.

Alexandria’s entry was titled, “Broadway Reconstruction Project: Taking Public Involvement to a New Level.”

In the planning stages for more than five years, the $5.7 million project between Third and Eighth Avenue gave the downtown area a whole new look with pedestrian friendly touches such as benches, a bicycle walking path and shorter crosswalks.

The project also replaced aging water and sewer lines buried deep beneath the city.

The league provided the following description of the project:

“In the summer of 2014, the city of Alexandria completely reconstructed and redesigned Broadway Street through the city’s downtown district. With the construction scheduled during the prime tourist season for downtown shops, high levels of public engagement and involvement were critical to the success of the project.

“During the planning process, numerous public information sessions were held, and a committee – comprised of city staff, business groups, the local media, and tourism professionals, among others – was formed with the charge of communicating progress through use of social media, a dedicated website, advertising and other tools.

“The public involvement portion of the project began in 2010, with the formation of three public visioning sessions. Each of the sessions was attended by more than 60 people representing all aspects of the community.

“The sessions were structured to allow public input in all aspects of preliminary design, and resulted in the identification and establishment of the project’s critical success factors.”

To compete for the award, cities self-nominated a project, program, or initiative that was administered to achieve one or more of the following:

• Improvement of the quality of a city service, development of an effective or innovative way to solve an old or common problem.

• Modification of a program from another community or organization to fit city needs.

• Discovery of a way to save the city money without compromising service results.

• Creative involvement of city staff or citizens in making a decision.

Winning entries were chosen in three population categories and in a special topical category.

Other honorees included Paynesville’s Lake Koronis Recreation Trail, Eden Prairie’s Snow and Ice Control Program, and Belle Plaine’s Archery Park.