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Construction continues on Willmar Avenue Southwest

Duininck Bros. Inc. employees Brian Marcus, left, and Jeramy Sietsema install sections of a storm sewer Tuesday near state Highway 40 in Willmar. Tribune photo by Gary Miller

WILLMAR -- Construction of about 200 feet of storm sewer pipe and underground utilities continued Tuesday along state Highway 40 in preparation for future extension of Willmar Avenue Southwest into the city industrial park.

Willmar Avenue will connect with a new portion of Willmar Avenue built through the old airport between County Road 5 to about Highway 40.

The plan calls for Willmar Avenue to be angled northwesterly at 22nd Street, cross the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks, cross Highway 40 and connect to the new street in the industrial park.

A new Willmar Avenue railroad crossing will be developed as a quiet zone.

A completion date has not been determined.

"We're just trying to accomplish the underground utilities this year,'' said Curly Wittman, senior technician in the Willmar Public Works Department.

After the extension is completed into the industrial park, the portion of Willmar Avenue between 22nd Street and the Jennie-O Turkey Store plant parking lot will be removed. Access to the Jennie-O parking lot will probably be provided by a private driveway off Highway 40, he said.

But he said the timing and exact details have yet to be decided.

Also, reconstruction is underway on the portion of Willmar Avenue between 18th Street and 22nd Street Southwest. The street will be widened to an urban section with curb and gutter. Slightly more than 1,000 feet of underground storm sewer will be installed. Also, a turn lane will be added into the orange ball field parking lot.

Wittman said the contractor, Duininck Inc., began the process Tuesday of reclaiming the bituminous surfacing between 18th and 22nd. He said a machine chews up the surface material along with 8 to 10 inches of gravel below the surface.

The material will be stockpiled at the nearby City Garage while the surface is graded and storm sewer is installed. The material will be reused in the base construction, he said. Contract completion date is Nov. 13.

David Little
David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
(320) 235-1150