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Richmond Way behind schedule

Construction crews installed 14,000 linear feet of curb last week on the new portion of Richmond Way. The new road will extend Richmond Way east to 140th Street.

Abnormal amounts of rain this summer have thrown a major wrench in road construction plans -- that means Richmond Way will not be open for the start of the school year.

The new road, which will extend east to to 140th Street, was scheduled to be completed by Aug. 15.

"And we even built in a cushion to account for rain," said Dan Koski, city engineer. "We just didn't know we'd have this much rain."

As of Tuesday, the project was still about three weeks away from completion, he said. Each rainfall added 2-3 days to the project, he said.

"The soil just gets so saturated that we had to wait for it to dry out," he said. "It got so wet that we even tilled the area out there -- similar to how you'd till your garden."

It is possible the road could be ready for drivers next week, but because pavement markers signage won't be installed until later, officials will not open the road until it's complete.

"We're recommending that it not open until it's complete," Koski said. "It's a wide road and with turn lanes it could be confusing to some drivers. We just don't think it would be that safe."

Morrie Veilleux, district administrator, agreed with Koski's decision.

"We feel it's not going to impact the opening of school," he said. "We'd rather the road be safe for everybody."

Last week road crews finished installing 14,000 lineal feet of curb. Koski said the first of two layers of asphalt could be laid as soon as Saturday, Aug. 28.

Once the first layer is laid, the road will be driveable, he said. That's when crews will start working on restoring the side -- seeding, pouring the sidewalks and installing street lights.

After those last projects are complete, the last layer of asphalt will be laid.

"That's the very last step," Koski said. "We do that after all the heavy equipment is off the road."

Once the second layer has cured, road markers will be painted on the pavement and street signs will be installed.

The delay shouldn't add to the project's cost, Koski said.

"They're not paid hourly," he said. "They're paid by quantity so it shouldn't add to the price."

Jackie Grumish
Jackie Grumish has been a reporter with the New Richmond News since 2008. She holds degrees in journalism and fine art from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. Before coming to New Richmond, Jackie worked as the city government reporter at a daily newspaper in Aberdeen, S.D. 
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