Road work ahead: Several street projects begin in Alexandria

City Engineer Tim Schoonhoven filled the council in on the Highway 29 sidewalk, 18th Ave., roundabouts and more.

EP Road Construction

ALEXANDRIA — Welcome to another road construction season in Alexandria.

At Monday's Alexandria City Council meeting, City Engineer Tim Schoonhoven filled the council in on several projects that are under way or starting soon:

  • Highway 29 sidewalk project: Work has started at the north end near 34th Avenue. The contractor is grading the sidewalk and next will place the aggregate base. A one-week detour of a part of 34th Avenue started on Friday, May 5 for work on the “pork chop” island at 34th Avenue. (Pork chop refers to a triangular sliver of concrete created by free-flowing right-turn “slip lanes” at intersections.) Work is scheduled to be complete by early June.
  • 18th Avenue: Work has started on 18th between Jefferson and Nokomis. The contractor is installing sanitary sewer and will continue with sanitary sewer, water main and storm sewer on this section of 18th Avenue for several weeks. Work is scheduled to be complete in August.
  • Local street paving project: This project has been awarded but hasn’t started yet. Work is scheduled to be complete by the end of June.
  • Rosewood Lane regional pond: This project was bid on April 27 and the city received 10 bids. Schoonhoven plans to recommend awarding the bid at the May 22 council meeting. In response to public comments at the April 24 council meeting , the city is in the process of scheduling a meeting with all involved parties before the next council meeting.
  • Roundabouts: Three separate roundabout projects are scheduled to start on May 15. Although the projects are being done by the county and state, and not the city, the work will impact the city, Schoonhoven noted. The Minnesota Department of Transportation will be constructing a roundabout at the west ramps of I-94 and Highway 27. Douglas County will be constructing a roundabout at the east side of this same intersection (near the Pilot truck stop) and will also be constructing a roundabout at County Roads 45 and 87 (near the YMCA). All three projects are scheduled to be constructed simultaneously. Work is scheduled to be complete in August, before the fair.

Memorial Day Parade gains approval

Plans for this year’s Memorial Day Parade were approved by the council.

The council issued a special permit to the veteran groups that are teaming up for the parade — the VFW, American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America and the Marine Corps League.

Organizers are expecting 5,000 people to attend, according to Russ Oorlog, Vietnam veteran and chair of the Veterans Memorial Park Committee.


The parade will take place on Monday, May 29 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Broadway. It will begin at Second Avenue and Broadway and continue south on Broadway, ending at the Veterans Memorial Park.

There will be about 25 vehicles and 200 participants in the parade, according to organizers.

As in past years, barricades will be set up and intersections will be blocked on both sides of Broadway.

Ride of Silence carries powerful message

It’s time to remind drivers to safely share the road with bicyclists and to remember all those bike riders who have been injured or killed in crashes.

The council approved the annual “Ride of Silence” that will take place Wednesday, May 17, starting and ending at Big Ole Central Park. Cyclists, friends, neighbors and others who are interested in bike safety is invited to participate. Be sure to wear helmets. Bike Riders will meet at 6:45 p.m. at Big Ole Park and after a brief ceremony, they will leave at about 7 p.m. on a silent ride of about 5 miles around town and on the Central Lakes Trail.

Dozens of bicyclists took part in the annual Ride of Silence in Alexandria on Wednesday, May 18, 2022.
Celeste Edenloff / Alexandria Echo Press

The 14th annual bicycle ride, locally organized by Brad and Sue Dumm of Alexandria, raises awareness of the right of bicyclists to safely share the road with motor vehicles. It also pays tribute to bicyclists who have been injured or killed while riding. The Dumms lost their son, Dennis, in a bicycle crash in the Twin Cities in 2009.

About 40 bicyclists, silently riding in single file no faster than 10 mph, are expected to participate in the ride. For more information, call Brad at 320-808-8413 or Jake at Jake's Bikes at 320-219-7433.

The Ride of Silence is a worldwide event held the third Wednesday in May, National Bike Month.


For more information, go to the website, .

Six licenses approved

The council agreed to issue the following licenses:

Two Indoor sales of fireworks — one at Elden’s Fresh Foods and the other at Walmart.

Two mobile food trucks — Deja Blue House of Coffee, and Miller Concessions, which plans to have three food trailers in the Fleet Farm parking lot on May 24-28.

Two temporary on-sale beer licenses – Willmar Stingers Community Fund for a reunion baseball game on June 22 at Knute Nelson Memorial Park between the Stingers and the Alexandria Beetles; and the Alexandria Fire Department Relief Association for a fundraising event at the Runestone Community Center on May 12-13.

Fifth Ave., Cardinal Lake to be vacated

The council gave final approval to Douglas County’s request for the city to vacate portions of two city streets – Fifth Avenue West and Cardinal Lane.

Vacating the platted but unbuilt portions of the two streets is the first step in the county’s long-range plan for a larger campus, according to City Planner Mike Weber.

A road vacation removes the public interest in a road’s right-of-way and relinquishes the property to the abutting property owners.


The county is exploring the idea of building a new county government center near the fairgrounds. It would include a parking lot and additional access roads connecting Latoka Drive and County Road 82.

The actions will also allow the county to move the existing sheriff’s office water patrol building – currently located on the Douglas County Agricultural Association land – to an area now occupied as a pole yard for ALP Utilities, directly west of the existing Douglas County Public Works building.

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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