Detours for Main Street delayed until further notice

The detour for the construction project along Main Street (Highway 19) in New Prague’s downtown has been postponed until further notice as a permit to work in the railroad’s right-of-way is experiencing a delay. Work through the railroad right-of-way is the critical first stage of project construction.

City Engineer Chris Cavett told the New Prague City Council at its Monday, June 15, meeting Union Pacific Railroad had furloughed employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among those furloughed were employees who could examine the permit requested by the contractor SM Hentges & Sons, Inc. of Jordan. The request is for jacking steel casings underneath the railroad tracks that would support the tracks, plus utilities would be run through the casings, which would protect the utilities.

Part of the work is to be done from Sunrise Avenue N to Lincoln Avenue S. City Public Works Director Glen Sticha said the contractor is not able to do work in that area as it didn’t have the proper items. The contractor had prepared to do the work at the west end of Main Street.

Some minor work along the corridor is taking place and motorists are reminded to watch out for workers, equipment and traffic control devices.

Officials with the City of New Prague and MnDOT had previously hoped the first stage of construction could start earlier this month. The work was scheduled to begin on June 8, then was delayed to June 15 and then to June 22.

 When the first stage can begin the detour for motorists traveling westbound through New Prague consists of 10th Avenue NE, 7th Street NE/NW, and Highway 21. Eastbound traffic will be detoured south on Highway 13, Le Sueur County Road 29, and 10th Avenue SE.  Motorists who desire to go to downtown businesses will need to watch for special signage. Find more information and detour maps at www.mndot.gov/d7/projects/hwy19newprague.

The 2020-21 Highway 19 reconstruction project runs from the intersection of Highway 13/21 to Seventh Avenue SE and consists of replacing deteriorating infrastructure including underground utilities, storm water drainage systems and roadway pavement and sidewalks. Construction work in 2020 will include work on Highway 19 between Fifth Ave. NW and First Ave. NW.

The City of New Prague and MnDOT are partnering in the nearly $12.5 million project and more information on the background can be found at www.newpraguemainstreet.com

 

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