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Washington Ave Update 6/8

We had a good amount of progress last week in both sections of the project.  We saw the first of some new pavement in Section A and more underground utilities go in on Section B.  The upcoming week will be have a significant amount of visible change and progress in both sections.  There will be some new access impacts in both areas so please read the following summaries.

Section A:

  • The contractors made some good progress last week with the construction of pavement and some curb and gutter.  On Monday crews constructed the southbound (west side) mainline concrete pavement from Frazee to Front.
  • The remainder of last week was spent placing the pavement north of Front Street, curb and gutter in the Front Street Intersection, and pavement in the Front Street intersection.
  • While this might not seem like significant work…it is.  The intersections take a considerable amount of work to complete.  The curb and gutter is relatively complicate to form and must be done by hand.  The intersection pavement has to be done in multiple forms/pours.  At the end of the last week the Front Street intersection is nearly complete.
  • Some curb and gutter was also placed in the Holmes intersection. We could only complete the west half until the remainder (northbound) mainline paving is complete.
  • We had hoped to have a little more pavement complete but cool day/night temperatures resulted in slow curing of Monday’s mainline paving.  This prevented the crews from being able to place equipment on that pavement.  In turn this delayed them from pouring the northbound pavement or curb and gutter on the west side.  The up side is cool temps and the slow cure make for good concrete pavement!
  • This week will be a lot more of the same.  Crews will continue focus on getting the remaining pavement and curb and gutter constructed.
  • Monday will be a busy day.  The contractor plans to pour the curb and gutter on the west side of the street starting at 7:00 am.  By the later part of the morning they hope to be placing the remaining mainline pavement (northbound driving and parking lanes).
  • By the middle of the week, crews will focus on construction of the sidewalk on the west side of the street.  This will obviously cause some access changes and interruptions.   We will be developing more detail for this work and communicate this with you in the next couple of days.  As they construct the sidewalk they will be taking down the temporary walk.  This will cause some short term interruptions in access.  The good news is that once the sidewalk is constructed, we will be able to use in less than 24 hours…no more rubber mats!!
  • We will work with everyone closely on the timing of the sidewalk construction.  If you have special needs/concerns please contact me and I will try to accommodate these the best we can.
  • Sellin has tentatively scheduled for the asphalt pavement to be place east/west of the Front Street intersection next Friday.  This means that this intersection MAY be complete and open to traffic by next weekend!  There are some things that need to fall into place for this to happen…but that is currently the goal.  This will help restore some of the vehicle access to the downtown area.

Section B (Willow to Frazee):

  • Last week Sellin finished all of the watermain and sanitary sewer main installation.  We are having some trouble passing a pressure test on a small portion of the watermain.  Crews spent the last part of the week digging up joints and trying to isolate the issue.  They believe they have zeroed in on the problem and it should be fixed.
  • Another crew from Sellin worked on installing sewer and water services.  Services are a currently about 50% complete.  The services should be completed by the later part of this week.
  • With the completion of the sewer and water in the first phase of Section B, we will be making preparations to start work in the second phase of Section B, from Willow to the dental office.
  • By the middle part of the week crews will begin removing the last of the pavement (Willow to the dental office).  This will create some additional access interruptions.  This work should take less than two days to complete (maybe just one day).  Once the removals are complete access will be partially restored.
  • The only underground utility construction in the southern phase is storm sewer, which is primarily on the east side of the road.  Sellin will make every effort to maintain some level of access to adjacent businesses during this work.   As the storm sewer is installed they will grade the street behind progress.   This will be the last of the major excavation in this section.
  • By the early/mid part of next week all of the underground utility work will be complete.
  • By the middle of next week crews will be starting the street construction

As you can tell there will be a fair amount of action this week and progress will be shifting and impacting different areas as the week moves along.  If you have not been to a weekly progress meeting yet, this week would be a good one to come to.  By Tuesday we will have a better picture of how things are going to progress and how it will impact access to the various areas.  I imagine this update may create some questions and concerns from those of you directly impacted by the project.  I encourage you to please give me or other project staff a phone call with any questions or concerns.

For those of you in Section A, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  A couple more weeks and we will be getting very close.  For those in Section B  the worst of the digging is just about over and things will be getting put back together very soon.  I again appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding.  You cooperation has made things go quickly and smoothly thus far.

Jon Pratt, PE

City Engineer
Apex Engineering Group
1265 Highway 10 West – Suite 4
Detroit Lakes, Minnesota 56501

Office:  218-844-2580
Direct:  218-844-2582
Cell:       218-841-1282

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Washington Ave Update 6/1

We are heading into the 8th week of construction and there will be a fair amount of activity this week (if the weather cooperates).  The downtown area will see the first of some new street pavement and Section B (Willow to Frazee) will continue with underground utility construction.  The following summaries work completed last week and the anticipated work for the coming week.

Section A (Downtown):

  • Work was somewhat limited last week.  Crews focused on placement and tolerance of the aggregate base in preparation for the concrete pavement construction.
  • The Front Street intersection was temporarily reopened for east/west traffic over the weekend.  This intersection will be closed again sometime Monday for pavement construction.
  • Towards the end of last week crews began mobilizing and setting up equipment for the concrete pavement construction.  Originally pavement construction was scheduled to begin on Friday.  This work was delayed due to weather and other factors.
  • Crews worked on Sunday and completed the final preparation (setting pavement reinforcement) for concrete pavement construction.
  • The first of the mainline (street) concrete pavement will be placed on Monday morning.  The initial construction will include the west half (south bound traffic and parking lanes) from front street to Frazee Street.  This work will be completed by the end of Monday.
  • The west half of the pavement must cure for a few days before crews can turn the equipment around and construct the other half of the street.
  • While the first of the mainline pavement cures the contractor plans to begin constructing the concrete pavement and curbing in the Front Street intersection.
  • Once the main line pavement is complete the contractor will begin constructing the curb and then sidewalk areas.
  • Obviously the concrete construction is very dependent on weather and will have a significant impact on progress over the next couple of weeks.

Section B (Willow to Frazee):

  • Last week Sellin Brothers continued construction of the watermain and sanitary sewer.  The watermain construction is about 85% complete and nearly to Frazee Street.  The Sanitary sewer construction is about 50% complete.
  • This week Sellin will continue with watermain and sanitary sewer construction.  The watermain will be completed by the early part of the week and sanitary sewer will likely be complete towards the end of the week.
  • As crews finish the sewer and watermain they will begin installation of sewer and water services to individual properties.  Access to properties may be limited when services area being installed.  Also, there will be short water service interruptions to individual properties as crews connect water services to the new watermain.  The contractor will try and communicate these interruptions with you in advance.
  • Sewer and water construction will continue through this week and will likely be completed sometime next week.
  • The next step of construction will include the construction of the storm sewer.
  • No work south of the dental office is anticipated for the following week.

As always, we will hold our weekly construction meeting at 9:00 am on Tuesday at LaBarista.  Please contact me or other project staff if you have any questions.  We appreciate your continued patients and understanding.

Jon Pratt, PE

City Engineer

Apex Engineering Group

1265 Highway 10 West – Suite 4

Detroit Lakes, Minnesota 56501


Office:  218-844-2580

Direct:  218-844-2582

Cell:       218-841-1282


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Washington Ave Update 5/19

We are now heading into the 6th week of construction and we are starting to transition into some new elements of work. The weather over the last week has been less that cooperative but the crews of Sellin Brothers, buttoned up the rain coats and kept working through most of it.  The rain certainly slowed progress a bit but has not significantly impacted the schedule.  The upside is dust has not been an issue!  That being said, we will soon be starting to place concrete and some dryer weather would be welcomed.  As most of you know, we will be starting work in Section B (Willow to Frazee Street) on Tuesday morning.  This means the construction area will be expanding a bit but also that we are starting to get over the proverbial hump in Section A (downtown area).  The following is a summary of progress and work forecast for each of the project areas:

Section A (Downtown):

  • Crews spent the majority of last week working on service laterals in the 800 block.  They were able to finish all of them other than a couple that were finished today.  At this point we are working with your plumbers to get the final interior connections made to the new services.  Once this is complete everyone will be on the new water system and the old watermain will be decommissioned.  It is imperative that your plumbers make these connections inside as soon as possible or we risk delaying the progress and schedule.
  • Crews also worked on installation of storm sewer in the Front Street intersection.
  • Sellin Brothers and the City of DL electric crews completed the installation of electrical and irrigation conduits in the 900 block.
  • The beginning part of this week will be spent finishing the last of the miscellaneous underground work.  This includes the storm sewer in the front street intersection and on the 800 block.
  • Once all buildings are on the new water system the final watermain connection will be made in the Front Street intersection.  At this point we will need to perform a final pressure test on the watermain and service laterals in the 800 block.  This is tentatively scheduled for the middle of the week.  This test will result in a brief interruption (about 2 hours) in water service to properties on the 800 block.  The test will be performed in the evening and you will receive further notification prior to the water suspension.
  • As we finish the water system installation and testing it is critical that you notify project staff if you do not have water service to all or a portion of you building.  This will allow crews to correct the situation prior to street work.
  • Sellin and City electric crews will begin installation of irrigation and electrical conduits on Tuesday morning.  This work will take a little less than two days to complete.  This work will be the end of any significant excavation on this portion of the project area.
  • By the middle of the week crews will begin grading the subgrade in preparation of street construction.  This will be followed by placement of aggregate base, tentatively by the later part of the week.
  • Preparatory work for the concrete street paving will being early next week with the first of the concrete pavement being placed by the middle of the week (tentatively).
  • Once the street paving is complete crews will start work on curb and intersections, and then move into sidewalk work.

Section B (Willow to Frazee):

  • Work in this section will begin on Tuesday morning.  This segment of Washington Avenue will be closed to through traffic during the work.  Access to businesses and properties will be maintained to the extent possible.  General traffic will be detoured around the construction utilizing Lake Avenue.
  • Crews will begin work by removing the street surface, underlying concrete pavement, and curbing.  Lighting will also be removed.
  • Initially construction will be limited to the area between the dental office, north to Frazee Street.  Frazee Street intersection will remain open to cross traffic.
  • Sellin Brothers will immediately begin the construction of  underground utilities.  Crews will start with the installation of sanitary sewer near the dental office and head north towards Frazee Street.
  • By the middle of the week a second crew will start the installation of watermain, again near the dental office heading north to Frazee Street.
  • Underground utility installation will continue for the next couple of weeks.
  • There will be periods during the utility installation when access to the adjacent properties will not be possible due to trenching.  If you have critical access needs, such as deliveries, please contact project staff so we can coordinate your needs.  All properties will have access at the end of each working day.
  • Barricades will be erected at each end of the immediate work area.  Please obey all signs and barricades.
  • Sidewalks will be left in place to in effort to provide pedestrian access.
  • If you have unique access needs please contact project staff.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel for those in Section A and the work is just beginning in Section B.  Sellin Brothers will be taking extra steps prior to the Memorial Day weekend to clean up the project site and ensure good pedestrian access (downtown) and local access to those in Section B.  Weekly construction/progress meetings are held every Tuesday At 9:00 am at LaBarista.  In the meantime please contact myself or other project staff with any questions or concerns.


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Washington Ave Update 5/13


I wanted to send a quick note to all of you with important schedule updates.  The primary purpose of this update is to provide a notice that work in Section B of the project (Willow Street to Frazee Street) will be starting next week.  The rain has not significantly slowed progress and Sellin Brothers will be substantially finished with the underground utility work in Section A (downtown) by the end of this week or the early part of next week.  In order to keep the progress moving, we will be moving work into Section B early next week.  The following are some important items for everyone to be aware of:

  • Traffic control and the detour will be set-up late this week and Monday.  This means signs will go up, but the road will not yet be closed.
  • Washington Avenue, from Willow to Frazee Street, will be closed to thru-traffic beginning early morning of Tuesday, May 19th
  • Closed to “Thru-Traffic” means that we are prohibiting the use of the roadway to general traffic.  However, residents, businesses, and customers will generally still be able to access businesses, with exception to immediate work areas.  We will be making every effort to maintain and provide access to businesses, when reasonable.  There will be times that access will not be possible.  We will try and communicate progress and access issues with everyone as work progresses.  We will provide access to all residential property during non-working hours and other times as possible.
  • There will be a moving construction zone with barricades on each end of active work areas.  This will prevent travel through the work zone.  However, properties north or south of the active work zone can get access from the appropriate end of the project segment (at Willow or Frazee)
  • A detour route will be posted that will divert traffic around the construction utilizing Lake Avenue.
  • Please obey all posted warnings and barricades.  These are for the protection of you, your vehicle, and the construction personnel.
  • Temporary public parking will be available in a portion of the Holy Rosary parking lot after school lets out for the year (after Memorial Day weekend).  Public may not use this lot until the school year is over.  Access to the lot will be from Lake Avenue.
  • The first item of work will include the removal of the street, curb, driveway approaches, and lighting.  Temporary gravel approaches will be installed to driveways.
  • The contractor plans to leave the existing sidewalk in place for as long as possible.  This will assist in providing pedestrian access to businesses and properties.
  • Initially all work will be from the dental office to Frazee Street.  We will not be doing any removals south of the dental office until a later date.  This means there will still be on street parking available in this area.
  • The construction of the underground utilities (sewer, water, and storm sewer) will begin after the removals are completed.  We anticipate this work to start late next week or following the Memorial Day weekend.

We will continue to provide updates regarding construction progress for both section A and B of the project.  Please forward this e-mail to anyone who might be interested in receiving the updates.  Anyone wishing to receive the updates can send me an email and I will add them to the distribution list.  Weekly construction meetings are held at LaBarista at 9:00 am every Tuesday.  In the meantime, please feel free to contact any of the following project staff with questions, comments, concerns, or special needs.

Name Role/Representing Contact Information
Jon Pratt Detroit Lakes City Engineer Work: (218) 844-2582Cell: (218)
Tony Lapp Construction Inspector Cell: (218)
Joel Sellin Project Manager – Sellin Brothers, Inc. Work: (218) 483-3522Cell:
Scott Sorenson Project Superintendent – Sellin Brothers, Inc. Cell: (701)
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Washington Ave Update 5/5

Good Morning,

As part of the project phasing we have held off with significant work in the Front Street intersection.  The purpose of this was to reduce traffic and access impacts by leaving the intersection open as long as possible.  Progress is now at a point that the contractor will need to close the intersection and complete the underground utility installations, including removal of the steam system that crosses the intersection.

The Front Street intersection will be closed starting Wednesday, May 6.  Traffic control and detours will be adjusted as necessary.  If all goes to plan, the contractor will begin street grading/construction in this intersection soon after they complete the underground in this area.  This will allow us to reopen the intersection prior to other portions of Washington Avenue.  If we are unable to proceed with the street construction work, soon after the underground work, we will consider reopening the intersection temporarily with a gravel surface.

This closure will obviously create some changes to how the downtown can be accessed (particularly from TH 10).  You may want to notify delivery drivers to use the detour or alternate routes.  Please note that that the Frazee Street intersection will continue to be open to traffic.  Thanks for your continued cooperation.  We will soon be done with underground work and starting on street construction!  Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.  Thanks!

Jon Pratt, PE
City Engineer
Apex Engineering Group

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Washington Ave 4/14

As most of you know, we broke ground this morning on the reconstruction of Washington Avenue.  There has been a lot of planning and effort leading up to this point and we are finally at the point of construction!  I want to thank all of you for you communication and input up to this point.  I will be trying to send out periodic emails to all of you as another means of communication of project related updates.  If you are receiving this email you likely have a business or own a building adjacent to the project or you have been attending some of the planning meetings up to this point.  If you would prefer not to receive these e-mail please reply back to me and let me know.  Likewise, feel free to pass these on to others that may have interest in the project.  I am happy to add others to the mail list if you forward me names and email addresses.  I will try to limit these updates to no more than once or twice a week.


Now for a few updates and comments:

·         Washington Avenue from Front Street to Frazee Street was closed this morning with the beginning of the work.  Note that both of these intersections are open to traffic for the moment and will remain that way for the near term. Holmes Street is closed.

·         Traffic control was set up this morning which included a posted detour route and other signage to point downtown visitors in the right direction and to available parking areas.

·         One of the subcontractors (Hough Inc.) began preparatory work for some of the demolition and removals.  Today most of the activity was limited to mobilizing equipment and set-up.  They began sawing some of the pavement and sidewalk as well as pulverizing the street pavement, in preparation for removal.  Hough will begin removing sidewalk, curb, and street tomorrow.

·         As the sidewalks are removed, crews will begin setting up the temporary walk-ways and safety fence along the face of you buildings.  This will provide front door access during most of the construction.

·         Removals and demolition will take most of this week and no other significant work will take place.

·         The City’s electric utility crews removed street lighting.  The intersection lights will remain for the duration of the work.

·         Crews are working on setting up some temporary 2 hour parking on Holmes Street, between Lake Avenue and Washington Avenue.  The parking will be perpendicular to the north curb (facing the mall) and is signed for a two hour maximum.  This was done to try and provide some closer proximity parking for your patrons.  Please do not use this for any employee parking.  As a reminder please encourage your tenants and employees to park away from the project and leave the closer parking for customers and patrons.

·         Underground utility work will begin next Monday.  The contractor is planning for a suspension of water service on Monday afternoon.  They have been working on contracting impacted businesses.  More information will be sent out when details are available.

·         The weekly progress meeting (for public and impacted properties/businesses) will be tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. at LaBarista.  These meetings will be held every Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. and you are encouraged to attend, ask questions, and keep informed on the progress and upcoming work.

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