The DeKalb Street construction project officially got under way May 20 when the road was closed and the contractor began the milling of the existing bituminous.

Over the next several months the project will include upgrades to the roadway, as well as to the city infrastructure that exists below the street.

According to Keith Berndt, Redwood County engineer, it is anticipated that the street will be closed until this October. When the DeKalb Street project is completed, the public will observe a different layout. 

Prior to moving forward with the construction project, Redwood County considered a number of different designs for the roadway in an effort to improve safety on the street for traffic as well as pedestrians.

Significant discussion was held regarding the intersection of DeKalb and Cook streets, as it serves as a connection for the elementary school and middle school/high school in the community.

At that intersection flashing beacons are going to be installed to alert drivers of pedestrian traffic, with a median also included to help reduce the distance for those who are trying to cross.

Also at that intersection access to the frontage roads will be reduced, with trails added in that area of the roadway. A portion of the frontage road near Garnette Gardens is going to be eliminated, and in some locations along the street trail segments are being added. That is the case at Cook Street, so that pedestrians will be crossing a few feet away from the actual intersection.

Farther down the road to the north frontage road accesses are being added to allow those who live along the frontage road entrance to their homes.

Berndt said the street is going to be widened, and in the end will be much more like a city street with curb and gutter added.

The frontage road on the west side of DeKalb Street is going to be extended to Second Street, with a portion of the frontage road located on the east side eliminated and a trail segment added. While the road is closed, access to the frontage roads via the side streets will continue during the project.

As the infrastructure work is being done, there will be times when the water in areas will need to be shut off. When that occurs, residents will be notified in advance.

To receive updates on the project, an app has been set up by the county. One may sign up for it on the Redwood County Web site at www.co.redwood.mn.us.