The first phase of the 14th Street improvement project in Cloquet is slated to begin Monday, June 7, with construction to occur in areas extending from Cloquet Avenue to Prospect Avenue.

According to Cloquet Public Works Director Caleb Peterson, the city is expecting that road closures resulting from the construction will have a significant effect on traffic.

"It is going to have some major impacts on our community," Peterson told the Cloquet City Council on Tuesday, June 1.

While Peterson explained that crews will attempt to limit the impact on businesses and residential areas, he acknowledged that some obstructions will be unavoidable.

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The two-phase improvement project is a joint effort between the city and Carlton County that has been in the works since fall 2019, with the county designated as the lead agency in the process.

According to public works officials, it will involve full reconstruction of the street surfaces, curbs, gutters, sidewalks and multi-use trail, as well as replacement of parts of the city's sanitary sewer and watermains under the road.

“In general, the existing utility infrastructure in this area is considered in very poor-to-failed condition,” a 2020 request for council action read. “Some of the issues documented in recent years include sewer backups and watermain breaks.”

St. Cloud contractor RL Larson Excavating Inc. will conduct the first phase of construction, with the second phase set to begin next year for areas reaching from Prospect Avenue to Carlton Avenue.

The first phase of work is expected to be completed in October.