By Lynda Jensen
DASSEL, MN Major utility work is rolling along for Dassel’s south side, with crews planning to install the new water main piping this week along a section of Third Street, according to engineer Chuck DeWolf.
The work cuts through the heart of downtown, in front of Wells Fargo bank and the Third Street Cafe, among other businesses, jogging over a railroad crossing and ending at the industrial park.
Cafe owner Janice Bapp said her regular customers are still finding the restaurant, although it’s been slower than usual because of the lack of drive-by traffic. “I thought it would be worse,” she added.
Bank Service Manager Erin Wendolek noted that the bank is operating normally. “We’re open as usual,” she said. This includes the drive through, which ends up on Third.
When crews dig up the road this week, it should only interrupt the bank drive through for a day or two, and customers may drive on the gravel road, Wendolek said.
Previously, crews spent time installing new valves on the old water main in order to control flow, while the new pipes were put in, said engineer DeWolf.
Administrator Myles McGrath reported that there was a valving issue on Simons and Third Street. Otherwise, the project is going smoothly.
Residents had two periods of water shutoffs Tuesday and Wednesday, during which the entire south side had water shut off unexpectedly Tuesday.
This is because the valves being attached to the old water main weren’t holding and water was coming through, DeWolf said.
Crews moved to solve this problem, but ended up shutting off more people than expected in the process; since residents in the immediate area were notified, but many others were not.
Nevertheless, by week’s end, workers were rolling along at a fast pace, and managed to drill a new line underneath the railroad crossing Friday, DeWolf said.
McGrath noted that in the next several weeks, it may be necessary to shut off water to the industrial park.
The new water main is 10 inches in diameter, which will replace four- and six-inch water mains along Third, DeWolf said.
Once the project is finished, residents may notice a difference in water service. However, the main difference will be due to increased water pressure from the new water tower. South side residents may detect increased flow from the larger 10-inch pipe.
Residents with concerns may call
Residents who have concerns about the water main replacement on the south side of Dassel may contact engineer Chuck DeWolf on his cell (320) 212-2846.