Sidewalk project makes progress along Highway 29 South in Alexandria

A slew of construction projects are changing the landscape in Alexandria this spring and summer.

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Workers level off a sidewalk along Highway 29 South near Starbucks Thursday as part of an extension project. This will extend the sidewalk from 34th Avenue to 44th Avenue.
Al Edenloff / Alexandria Echo Press

ALEXANDRIA – A slew of construction projects are changing the landscape in Alexandria this spring and summer.

Three separate roundabout projects began on Monday, May 15 – at the west ramps of I-94 and Highway 27; at the east side of that same intersection near the Pilot Travel Center; and at the intersection of County Roads 45 and 87, near the YMCA.

Another highly visible project – a sidewalk extension – is taking place along Highway 29 South from 34th Avenue (near Plaza Liquor) to 44th Avenue (near Walmart Drive).

The low bidder for the sidewalk work was Joe Riley Construction of Morris. The $533,161 bid was well below the city’s estimate of $584,906. The total cost of the project, which includes the bid, engineering and wetland credits, is $645,983.

The project will have no impact on Alexandria taxpayers. The project will be funded entirely from the state Local Partnership Project and municipal state aid.


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Workers used a concrete pump truck for the sidewalk extension from 34th to 44th Avenue.
Al Edenloff / Alexandria Echo Press

The new section of concrete sidewalk will be 6-feet wide and about a half-mile long. Work is expected to be completed in early June.

This is the second of three consecutive projects that will ultimately extend the sidewalk from 15th Avenue to 44th Avenue. The city’s long-term goal is to provide pedestrian access for the entire length of Highway 29 from Interstate 94 to Third Avenue.

The new sidewalk will be a “significant safety improvement” along the Highway 29 corridor and will provide a critical mobility connection where none currently exists, according to City Engineer Tim Schoonhoven.

At past meetings, Schoonhoven said the project will provide a much-needed link between the Midway Mall/Viking Plaza commercial area and the Target/Walmart commercial area. “The pedestrian link is needed as evidenced by the number of people seen regularly walking along the highway,” he said.

All work on the project will be within the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s right-of-way.

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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