Bridge demolition to start soon
By Tim Ruzek
Post-Bulletin, Austin MN
Oakland Avenue East’s underpass bridges likely will be falling down first when the major reconstruction project starts this summer.
Assistant City Engineer Steven Lang said the workers then would remove the existing roadway and infrastructure. The three-block underpass between First and Fourth streets then would be filled and graded for the new road structure that will have a gradual slope down to Fourth Street.
Updated utilities then would be dug into the fill, Lang said, followed by improvement work being done probably in late fall at Oakland Avenue’s intersections with First and Fourth Streets.
New traffic signals should be installed at the intersections along with new concrete pavement, Lang said. The city will try to keep both intersections open as much as possible throughout the project, he added.
Second Street between Oakland Avenue and First Avenue Northeast also will be redone this year, Lang said.
Temporary asphalt pavement then would be placed over the filled underpass. In 2009, after the fill settles, any corrective work would be done prior to pouring concrete for the roadway’s permanent surface.
City officials also plan to remove the service roads along the north and south sides of the underpass. New sidewalks will be built along those sides.
No specific detour is planned for around the project, Lang said, but signs will be posted advising drivers of the closed roadway. Most of the traffic that uses the underpass is from local drivers, he said, so most people will know how to manuever around it.