Weather Forecast


Proposed 2009 street improvements centered around flooding problems

Boxes of personal items are stacked in this August 2007 file photo outside a Willmar home that flooded following heavy rainfall in the area of 10th Street and Kandiyohi Avenue Southwest. The home, owned by Warren and Jan Lee Jorgenson, suffered significant damage to its foundation and was eventually ruled unhabitable by city officials. The city paid $115,000 to the Jorgensons to settle a lawsuit filed after they alleged the city failed to use reasonable care to maintain, repair and operate the storm sewe...

WILLMAR -- Solutions to localized flooding caused by heavy rain will be addressed in the city's list of proposed 2009 street improvements.

One problem area to be addressed is the intersection of 10th Street and Kandiyohi Avenue Southwest, where the former home of Warren and Jan Lee Jorgenson at 1000 Kandiyohi Ave., is located.

The house was rendered unsuitable for habitation after heavy rain on Aug. 21, 2007, flooded the intersection, backed up onto the property and into the house, caving in part of the basement.

The city paid $115,000 to the Jorgensons to settle a lawsuit filed by the couple against the city in 2008. They alleged the city failed to use reasonable care to maintain, repair and operate the storm sewer system.

As part of the settlement, which was approved by the City Council last month, the city was to acquire the property.

City Public Works Director Mel Odens said no decision has been made about the type of storm water improvement that would be proposed for the property.

But council members and officials have discussed the possibility of establishing a rain garden, which allows storm water to soak into the ground, or a water detention area at the intersection.

Another storm water improvement is the proposed extension of sewer pipe under Willmar Avenue Southwest between Seventh Street and 10th Street. Also proposed is construction of 700 feet of sewer line from Willmar Avenue north through the Kennedy Elementary School ball field to an existing storm sewer.

Odens said the improvements would add capacity to the system during heavy rain periods. He said the improvements are being proposed in response to increased flooding problems in that area in 2005 and 2007.

A storm water improvement is also being proposed at Sunrise Park, located north of Willmar Avenue Southeast and just west of the Highway 71/23 bypass.

Willmar Avenue

The proposed storm water improvements under and near Willmar Avenue Southwest would be planned when Kandiyohi County rebuilds Willmar Avenue from First Street to state Highway 40.

Willmar Avenue will be widened and the driving surface removed and replaced from First Street to Fourth Street. The driving surface will also be removed and will be replaced from Fourth Street and Seventh Street.

The portion between Seventh Street and 10th Street where the extended sewer line is proposed will be reconstructed.

The driving surface will be also be removed and replaced on the portion from 10th Street to 18th Street.

The portion near the ball fields between 18th Street and 22nd Street will be rebuilt to urban specifications and will be widened to allow for turning movements, said Odens.

New construction is proposed between 22nd Street and Highway 40.

Street/WWTP work

As part of construction of the new wastewater treatment project, the city is proposing to rebuild 11th Street Southwest from Litchfield Avenue to Trott Avenue and to rebuild Trott Avenue Southwest from 10th Street to 16th Street.

Both 11th Street and Trott Avenue will be torn up at those locations to allow for construction of the force main sewer from the Jennie-O Turkey Store plant on Benson Avenue.

At 16th Street, the force main will run parallel to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe tracks and eventually head west toward the site of the new plant.

Other reconstruction

Reconstruction is also proposed for the following:

- Valleybrook Addition: Fourth Avenue Northwest from 33rd Street to 34th Street; 33rd Street Northwest from Seventh Street to the south end; and 34th Street from Fourth Avenue to 33rd Street.

- 25th Avenue Southwest from Sixth Street to the cul-de-sac; 26th Avenue Southwest cul-de-sac; and 27th Avenue Southwest cul-de-sac.

- 14th Avenue Southeast from Ninth Street to 12th Street.

- County Road 24 from County Road 41 to 3,300 feet east.

New construction

- Downtown access off Litchfield Avenue.

- Pleasant View Drive Southeast from 12th Street to 15th Street.


- 11th Avenue Northeast from Lakeland Drive to 16th Street.

- Path from Kandiyohi County Fairgrounds to 15th Avenue Northwest.


- 10th Street quiet zone.

- First Street bridge deck rehabilitation.

- Crack sealing and seal coating.

This year's street work would total 5.02 miles, compared with 2.47 miles in 2008 and 4.75 miles (due primarily to Water View Business Park) in 2007.

No cost estimates have yet been prepared. The council's Public Works/Safety Committee is recommending the council order a feasibility report of the projects. Odens said the report should be ready for the committee to consider on Jan. 27.