More than a dozen construction projects in Rochester this summer - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

More than a dozen construction projects in Rochester this summer, but when will they end?


If it seems like there are more construction projects happening in Rochester this summer, there are. However, the number of city projects are the same as last year. The reason? An increase in private projects, such as hotels and apartments, going in downtown. Most of those are because of the DMC initiative.

"Everyday, everyday. They want to start a project here, then over here, block off streets, and people are confused," said Daniel McIntire, an avid bicyclist frequently seen downtown. The construction on 4th Street Southwest and throughout downtown not only confuse him, but others KTTC saw Thursday afternoon.

However, there are some who don't have a problem with the detour and road closed signs. "We have not had any problem getting around," added Shari Czerwinski, who's visiting Rochester with her husband from Chicago. Her only issue? Not a lot of work seems to be getting done. She was last here in early July, and the roads look the same: torn up.

"We have 11 major projects that are impacting travel lanes. So that's definitely an uptick," said Megan Moeller with Rochester Public Works. The 11 projects she's referring to are all private projects, which had to get permits through the Public Works Department.

Two of Rochester's biggest projects are 4th Street Southwest and 18th Avenue Northwest, which have been ongoing for most of the summer. "Minnesota has a shorter construction season, and there isn't time to stagger them out," added Moeller. Smaller projects taking place throughout town include crack sealing, chip sealing, and mill and overlays. However, those won't take nearly as long as 4th Street and 18th Avenue to complete.

Money is the big reason all these projects are taking place at once. "There is a cost-benefit to bundling some of these projects together when they go out for a bid. By bundling it we're able to get a better price on the work, makes it affordable, can influence when those projects happen."

The city plans to have 4th Street and 18th Avenue done by the end of the year, but the private projects could last through the winter. That means residents will have to wait that much longer for roads to look normal once again.

"The development downtown is happening and we're feeling the impacts of it."

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