City explores street improvement completion

Captions: Construction workers dig on West 1st Avenue in front of the Flandreau Schools where they are replacing sewer lines. The street will be made passable for winter although the project won’t be completed until next summer.

Part of First Avenue is paved in front of the Avera Medical Center.

Flandreau City Administrator Don Whitman will meet today with the contractor and engineers working on improvements to First Avenue to determine how the street will be passable during winter months.

H&W Contracting of Sioux Falls initially planned to have the $4.05 million project completed early this month but came to the city for an extension until July 25, 2018, Whitman said. “They realized there was a lot more to the project than they were able to get done.”

Additional work was added to the project, too, extending the completion date, John Rennich, project manager with H&W, said late last week. “With the amount of work involved, it extended out a little bit.”

With cold temperatures and winter weather approaching, the company will need to get the road to a condition in which people can drive on it and will come back in the spring to finish, Whitman said.

“At some point this year, they’re going to stop,” he said. “Our understanding is even areas down by the school where they’ve been working and digging, that is going to be passable for the winter months.”

Rennich said the company will work on the project through November or longer if weather cooperates. “We’ve kept crews on in past years through the middle of December,” he said.

First Avenue will be able to be driven on, with paving done as much as possible, he said. Recently, an area in front of the hospital was paved.

The four-block area in front of the school where workers still are digging 26 feet into the ground will have a gravel surface, Rennich said. The also will allow the area to settle over winter before paving next spring.

All residents will be able to have street access to their houses, he said.

The project includes replacement of the main water and sewer line on First Avenue from Veterans Street to Lindsay Street, along with storm drains, new curb and gutter and reconnecting water and sewer services for businesses and homes. In addition, the road will be repaved.

Whitman told city councilors at the Nov. 6 meeting that workers had recently blacktopped the section of First Avenue that was finished last year from Mad Mary’s Steakhouse and Saloon to the west but hadn’t put up a barrier to prevent people from driving on it while workers applied the various surface layers to the road. A motorist had driven on the tack coat layer that sticks two layers of asphalt together and had gotten the sticky residue on a vehicle, damage that should be submitted to the contractor’s insurance company, he said.

Rennich said he is aware of the driver’s concern and is working with the subcontractor who was paving the road at the time.


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