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Dan Abraham construction to close streets

Dan Abraham construction to close streets
Mayo Clinic employees Melissa Larson of Rochester and Ryan Frank of Mantorville discuss the construction along West Center Street near the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center in Rochester.

Construction on the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center kicked off this week, forcing those who live and work in downtown Rochester to adjust routes.

The use of a small crane and construction equipment will block off a small portion of Center Street West until December 2013. Parking meters along Sixth Avenue will also be closed intermittently.

John Wellner, infrastructure manager with Rochester Public Works, said there are many alternate streets available to drivers, allowing them to be flexible in their routes. The city has received no complaints thus far.

"It isn't like we don't disrupt traffic on almost an annual basis downtown," Wellner said.

Next month, Second Street Southwest is expected to undergo a five-month renovation. The construction will stretch between Sixth and 11th avenues, about two blocks away from the current construction. It's not clear yet what type of closure will be required there.


The construction on the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center will double the height of the current facility, adding four floors to the top of the building. Three of those will be dedicated to the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program, an individualized wellness program that will tailor physical activity, nutrition and resiliency, like yoga or meditation, to patients, said Donald Hensrud, chair of preventative medicine at Mayo Clinic. The program expects to open its doors in early 2014.

He said the goal will be to help people make long-term healthy lifestyle changes, like incorporating healthy cooking on a daily basis. Hensrud said that he hopes the new expansion will be just one part of what Mayo Clinic will offer in healthy living in the future.

"We think there's a need out there," he said.

The construction will not interfere with access to the current facility, which is open to employees and their dependents, but it does affect the occupants of its neighboring building and surrounding traffic.

Center Street's partial closure delays students at St. John the Evangelist School about 10 minutes on their way home, said associate administrator Suzanne Lagerwaard. She said students need to walk farther to get on the buses after school, pushing their leave time to about 4 p.m.

Lagerwaard said the school, located on the block of the construction on Center Street, was well-informed of the construction so it's "not a problem."

Amber Paulson of Mantorville, said she often walks through the intersection of Center Street and Sixth Avenue to her job as a supply chain manager at the Mayo Clinic. The intersection is already busy, she said, but she has seen a small increase in traffic.

She said she's "pretty used to" the construction projects in the summer.


"It seems like I've noticed it all over," Paulson said.


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