’Tis the season for road constructionCompared to the maze of road construction that defines travel through Duluth this summer, Cloquet looks pretty good. Of course, the folks who live off Selmser Avenue might not agree with that assessment.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
Compared to the maze of road construction that defines travel through Duluth this summer, Cloquet looks pretty good. Of course, the folks who live off Selmser Avenue might not agree with that assessment.
“Selmser is our big construction job this summer,” said Caleb Peterson, assistant city engineer, adding that the project is supposed to finish by Aug. 27 (weather permitting).
It’s a project that’s been on the city’s “to-do” list for a long time. Peterson said a primary reason for tearing up Selmser was to replace all the city utilities, especially the storm sewers.
“That’s a primary utility corridor through town,” Peterson said. “And we’ve had some issues with flooding on the side streets along Selmser.”
The project was bid at $742,000 by Hammerlund Construction of Grand Rapids. Workers will replace water, sanitary sewer, storm sewer and, of course, the street. The new street will be the same width, Peterson said. He said the new street will not include sidewalks.
“Selmser is such a narrow corridor, we’d probably end up putting sidewalks next to people’s doorways,” he said.
Speaking of sidewalks, the other highly visible street project currently under way is not a city project. The Minnesota Department of Transportation is footing the bill for the installation of sidewalks and pedestrian ramps along the west side of Highway 33 between Carlton and Cloquet avenues. MnDOT is also putting in pedestrian crossing signals that have sound, which alerts visually-handicapped people when it is safe to cross.
MnDOT’s Krysten Saatela said the state agency has special funding targeted toward accessibility improvements, and the stretch of Highway 33 between Cloquet and Carlton avenues had been identified as a priority.
“That’s a pretty important gap, considering the proximity to Pinehurst Park,” said Saatela, a design engineer.
Horland Construction of Duluth is working on the Highway 33 improvements this week, with the goal of being finished by the end of the week (again, weather
The new sidewalk will make that stretch of road much more pedestrian friendly.
“Accessibility really helps everybody,” said Saatela. “It helps people who are handicapped – visual or mobility – but it also helps everyone from the person pushing a stroller down the street to little kids walking to the pool.”