“So what about…?”

By: 
Patrick Fisher, pfisher@newpraguetimes.com

Like anyone watching the work on Main Street progress by our front door, we at The Times sometimes have questions about why the work crews do things.

Recently we wondered about the new roundabout and why there are metal “grates” in the areas for the crosswalk. I sent an email to John Voigt, Lead Resident Project Representative of Construction Services for Short Elliot Hendrickson Inc. His reply was that the metal “grates” are part of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) Requirements for pedestrian ramps at roadways. The “grates” offer two elements of detection for persons that are sight impaired. They are “rough” for a person walking with a cane and they are a different color (rusty or brown) to offer a visual element that they are walking into a roadway. The idea is to try to keep them perpendicular to the walkway (although radial ones are occasionally used). He added the ADA has some very strict “rules” and MnDOT takes them very seriously.

People will notice that the roundabout at Main Street and First Avenue NE/SE isn’t the only one that has the “grates.” There are ones at the other crosswalks for roundabouts in town.

While the work on Main Street has been long, starting in April, it’s also been progressing relatively quickly. If the work continues as it is sidewalks could be done in the downtown area of New Prague by the week of Monday, July 26. The first roundabout is hoped to be done in the next week or so and work on the second roundabout at the intersection of Main Street and Columbus will begin.

Other work that has been progressing in town is the new Veterans Memorial next to New Prague Library. The layout of it and light systems are in and the blocks with names of veterans are being worked on.

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