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Main Avenue reopens to traffic

City officials and downtown business owners wave as they take the first ride down Main street Friday morning. Standing on the fire truck are Kristine Walsh, and Cathy and Thom Peterson. City council members Paul Utke, Sue Tomte and Pat Mikesh, along with mayor Nancy Carroll, are seated in the truck. Barriers were to be removed from Main shortly after the parade so the road would be open to the public.(Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

Main Avenue is now open to traffic as phase one of the reconstruction project comes to an end.

A short parade with the Park Rapids City Council and downtown business owners marked the opening of the street, which had been closed since Aug. 2.

Crews had been working on cleanup and final touches this week to have the road opened by Friday.

One part of the project remains unresolved, however. The light poles are still not completed, said project manager Jon Olson.

"Originally, they were going to be rehabbed until we realized that would have been more costly than new poles," he said.

Until the new light poles are completed, there is a possibility of placing a few of the old lights up so the street is lit this fall.

This winter, downtown business owners are being asked to minimize the use of salt on the concrete sidewalks. They are encouraged to use potash or sand on the sidewalks instead of salt.

The project will continue next spring with phase two, which involves utility work on the side streets in downtown.

Olson said phase one was a success.

"The positive attitude, without question, is what got us through," he said to downtown business owners and city leaders.

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