Weather Forecast


City of New London's $2.8M utility project set to begin in June

NEW LONDON -- Work on a $2.7 million utility and street project in New London is expected to begin shortly after the Memorial Day weekend.

Kuechle Underground of Kimball was awarded the contract for the project earlier this month. Their bid of $2,745,893 was lower than the engineer's estimate of $3.1 million.

"We've been getting some breaks here and there," said City Clerk Trudie Guptill.

Besides the attractive bid, the city received a 1 percent interest rate on a 20-year water and sewer loan from the state Public Facilities Authority and received a $48,750 grant from the watershed district to install receptors on storm sewer lines to filter sediments from rain water before it's discharged into the river.

At its meeting Wednesday, the New London City Council approved several agreements in preparation for the project, which primarily involves repairing or replacing sanitary sewer and water lines that were originally installed in the 1950s and '60s.

"They've reached their life expectancy," said Guptill, adding that clean groundwater is leaking into the sewer lines and the city is paying to treat that excess water as sewage. Last year inflow and infiltration expenses cost the city $125,000. The repairs are expected to reduce those costs.

Mill and overlay of some streets is also included in the project, which will be spread out in 14 different parts of town.

Guptill said this is one of the biggest utility projects the city has engaged in. It affects 225 different property owners.

"It's a pretty big undertaking for a little city," she said.

The project will be completed this year.

In the meantime, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is gearing up for a major project through the heart of New London on state Highway 9, which doubles as the town's Main Street.

The road will be narrowed to accommodate wider sidewalks and "bump-outs" will be installed at several intersections to enhance pedestrian traffic.

That project is scheduled to begin in mid-August.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

(320) 894-9750