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Underground utility work completed for the year

Concrete work continues on Main Avenue on the block between 2nd and 3rd Streets. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)1 / 2
Decorative concrete panels have been installed at Pioneer Park in downtown Park Rapids for the public to view. The decorative concrete will be featured on corner intersections and crosswalks. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)2 / 2

The underground utility work on Main Avenue is completed for this year and concrete work will continue in the next few weeks.

"Now, we're basically working on concrete," said project manager Jon Olson.

Rain this week put some of the concrete pouring on hold but the project as a whole is still trending on schedule, he said.

Concrete driving lanes have been paved between Highway 34 and 2nd Street and curb has been poured around the nodes at the 2nd Street intersection. Sidewalk has been installed between 2nd and 3rd Street and joint work was being completed at the end of the week.

People are invited to look at decorative concrete test panels that were poured in Pioneer Park this week. This is a sample of the detail work that will be carried throughout the downtown project.

Next week, the east and west sides of the street between 2nd and 3rd Street should be completed and some decorative concrete work could begin, Olson said.

Between 3rd and 5th Street, grading will be completed and curb and gutter work will begin. Street concrete and sidewalks will likely be poured the week of Oct. 3-9.

With the Headwaters 100 bicycle ride this weekend, which brings in between 600 and 700 people, construction crews were asked to make sure sidewalks and boardwalks were easily accessible.

Crews will do some work on alleys on the south part of the project.

"We're trending right on our goal and looking at the end of October," Olson said.

The textured, decorative concrete will have a distinct look, Olson said. The decorative concrete will be at the corner nodes and at the crosswalks.

The decorative concrete will need to have sealant put on it every other year, Olson said.

The work should be able to continue on schedule even if there is a day here or there with rain, said contractor Jeff Wipper.

After Thursday's weekly construction meeting, downtown business owner Kristine Walsh shared an idea to bury a time capsule under Main. Cynthia Jones and other downtown business owners agreed it was a good idea and decided to move forward with the idea.

Several items, such as a copy of the Enterprise when construction started and a groundbreaking photo will be buried in a tube under the street. The idea is to have "2010" stamped in the concrete above the time capsule.

Items are being dropped off at RiverBend and the capsule will be buried within the next two weeks before concrete pouring is completed.

Weekly construction meetings will continue at 8 a.m. Thursdays at Bella Caffé.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561