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Akeley businesses continue to be open through construction

Water main reconstruction on Highway 34 in Akeley is ahead of schedule, but a long summer of detours lies ahead. (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)

Akeley's water main reconstruction project on Highway 34 is ahead of schedule, with a hoped for completion date of July 4, according to Short Elliot Hendrickson project engineer Greg Kimman.

The contractual completion date is July 15.

But Kimman urged patience. "Mother nature can cause havoc."

Meanwhile, Highway 34 from Pleasant to Hulet will be closed to through traffic, with parking allowed on side streets only. Temporary water service is being provided to buildings during construction.

The contractor, Casper Construction, will shut down work during Paul Bunyan Days, June 24-26, Kimman said. The highway will not be blacktopped at that point but will be passable, he said of a Class 5 or sub-grade surface.

Sidewalks will not likely be poured until the highway project is complete, he said.

"Akeley is a diamond in the rough," Kimman said of the work-in-progress.

Meanwhile, businesses continue to operate in Akeley, with parking on side streets. Signs on Broadway announce the businesses to be in operation.

Several business owners arrived at city hall to complain (some vehemently) about the lack of notification when the project began.

Mayor Jennifer Mitchell urged patience at the council meeting and suggested those with complaints follow protocol by filling out a city form.