Still in the construction zone

Weather delays pushed back the start of the Phase 3A-1 project, leaving a lot of unfinished business

By Per Peterson

An orange snow fence graces an area on Emory St. in front of the Zion Lutheran Church.

Infrastructure work under Hollett and Emory streets may be complete, but it’s the situation above the surface that could potentially cause city residents and city workers headaches this winter and next spring.

The Phase 3A-1 project that began past the anticipated start date has resulted in new underground mains and services in these areas. The delay in the project, however — the construction crew battled rain during their work in Lamberton prior to coming to Tracy — has resulted in a lot of unfinished business on streets, intersections and in people’s yards.

On the surface, one layer of asphalt was applied on Hollett and Emory, as were temporary asphalt driveway aprons. However, areas of sidewalks that were dug up to install services were not replaced (gravel was used to fill the areas) and the delay also meant workers didn’t have time to pour curbs. That means the new roads have only gravel shoulders and, in some areas, steep drop-offs from the boulevard to the road. There is also gravel in the turn radiuses at intersections that fell within the scope of this phase of the project. The large, black tubes that protrude from the boulevards are sump pump drains.

“They got a good amount of the job done, with some problems they had with the weather, but I’m disappointed they didn’t get the curb and gutter and the sidewalk done,” Daniels said. “The second layer of asphalt was already planned to be done later because we let the road settle so we get a smoother surface. As far as the asphalt goes, most of that’s down, but I would’ve liked to see curb and gutter and driveway apron down. But I understand the weather on their part, too, because we’ve got concrete to pour in town, too, and we can’t.”

Daniels said it costs more to pour concrete in the winter, depending on how much below freezing it gets. Concrete poured in those conditions needs to be covered as well.

Jerome Viskey, Duininck division manager, said the sidewalks will be completely tore up and replaced in the spring, as will the temporary asphalt driveway aprons.

“We got started later than we planned because of the rain before we got during another project in Lamberton,” Viskey said. “We had two crews in Lamberton at one time. If you go over there, you’ll see there’s probably curb that didn’t get done, sidewalk that didn’t get done.”

Viskey, who has been with Duininck for 38 years, said not starting the Tracy project this year would’ve left Duininck in a quandary as to what to do with their workers and equipment.

“What are you supposed to do with the men?” he said. “What are you supposed to do with your equipment? We started this with the idea that we would get done, and we would’ve gotten done if the weather had held. We would’ve gotten curb in there. They could’ve had curb in here the week before but we were delayed so much.”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.