Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, July 2, 2001
Detour update: Hwy 12 construction in HL expected July 22
By Lynda Jensen
Contractors spent last week anxiously watching the state legislature try to avoid a government shutdown, as Highway 12 work progressed through Waverly, said Minnesota Department of Transportation Project Manager Tony Hughes.
If the government did shut down, the construction would stop, but the utility work would continue, commented engineer Brad DeWolf, the city engineer for Howard Lake, Waverly, and Montrose.
Latour Construction and Waverly city employees would continue at the work site, but all other work would cease, DeWolf said.
The west end of Waverly's sanitary and storm sewer pipework is completed from Sixth Avenue westward; including the water main, said Steve Latour of Latour Construction, Maple Lake.
Latour is performing the utility work for the project, which includes the Howard Lake portion. There are two other contractors involved, the main contractor, Bauerly Brothers, Dassel; and Mathiowetz of Sleepy Eye, which is doing the grading, Hughes said.
"It's been going pretty good," Latour said. They are tentatively on schedule, with the help of the break in rain, he said.
Construction should hit city limits of Howard Lake July 22
The work continues on its course, despite obstacles.
Latour once again overcame obstacles to remain on schedule. Previously, two weeks of rain threatened the schedule.
The government shutdown also threatened the schedule. The completion date for Waverly remains Aug. 31, with the construction work rolling into Howard Lake tentatively July 22, pending good weather and no problems, Hughes said.
July 22 will be when traffic is routed around main street in the second phase of detours and Highway 12 through town is torn up, Hughes said.
The railroad continues its work at the crossing for Wright County Road 7, with crossing signals yet to be placed.
The crossing itself is completed, DeWolf said. Railroad workers should be done by this week with signal work, he said.
The road remains closed to the public. Howard Lake city council members have been emphatically trying to prevent people from using the crossing.
The section of road in front of Wright County Road 7 will have utility work performed over the next few weeks, including telephone fiber optic lines, a gas main, which are both located on the north side of the road; and a cable television line on the south side that requires new power poles, Hughes said.
Sprint and Reliant Energy will be working in the area to this end, Hughes said.
Several unforeseen problems cropped up, including the old water main being in the wrong place and the wrong size of piping, Latour said.
In addition, even though the existing survey information showed four-inch water pipes on a handful of roads crossing Highway 12; including Sixth Avenue, this turned out not to be true, Latour said.
Instead, the cast-iron pipes were two inches wide, which is an antiquated size.
"No one makes fittings for two-inch pipes," Latour commented. This left Latour scrambling to figure out how to re-connect the old piping to the new, without having to re-pipe the whole town, he said.
They salvaged pieces from the old piping to reconfigure it, Hughes said.
Everyone west of Sixth Avenue should be online with the new water main system, Latour said.
One person showed up at the regular weekly public meeting hosted by MnDOT to ask about sinkholes, Hughes said. Other than that, there have been zero complaints on the emergency access number.
The phone number is answered by Bauerly Brothers, which is required to respond within half an hour during working hours, and within two hours during non-working hours.
If Bauerly does not respond, it may be subject to fines that amount to a few hundred dollars per hour, which could be deducted from the jobwork by MnDOT, Hughes said.
Those who call to complain must document their time of call and what transpired - and then alert MnDOT to the issue, Hughes said. The MnDOT number is listed on the front page of the Herald every week, along with the emergency access numbers. It is also on the recording that answers the access number line, Hughes said.
Howard Lake-Waverly Herald & Winsted-Lester Prairie