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DOT: Mitchell work is ahead of schedule

Traffic cones line West Havens Avenue on Thursday afternoon in Mitchell as road construction continues. (Chris Huber/Republic)

Road work in Mitchell is being completed faster than expected, a state Department of Transportation engineer said Thursday. According to DOT Mitchell Area Engineer Tammy Williams, most concrete repairs on Havens Avenue, Burr Street and the state Highway 37 bypass are expected to be completed by early June.

"The public will see a lot of orange barrels disappear at that point, which will be good," Williams said.

If all the concrete repairs on Burr Street are completed next week as planned, all traffic control devices will be removed, Williams said.

Traffic on Havens Avenue will be moved Saturday to the north lanes as workers begin repairing worn concrete in the south lanes, she said. Currently, lane closures are in place on Havens Avenue between Ohlman Street and Burr Street, on Burr Street between Highland Avenue and Havens Avenue, and on state Highway 37 from National Guard Road south past the intersection of North Main Street and the state Highway 37 bypass.

The installation of conduits for street lights and traffic signals along Havens Avenue began in late April and will continue in the next few months, according to a construction update released May 3 by engineering firm Sayre Associates Inc. Curb ramps and asphalt overlay will also be installed on Havens Avenue after concrete repairs are finished.

The project, which began in April, is contracted to Interstate Improvement Inc. and is being managed by Sayre Associates Inc. and the state DOT.

"It's actually going faster than what we originally planned, which minimizes the inconvenience," Williams said. "We're definitely thankful for everyone's patience."

In an e-mailed memo May 3, Mitchell Mayor Lou Sebert apologized for any inconvenience caused by the construction.

"I ask that we all be patient and ask others to be patient for the short time it is taking to improve the streets and highway within Mitchell," he said.

Jim Loomer, owner of Montgomery's Furniture on West Havens Avenue, said although the construction is inconvenient, he believes people are getting accustomed to it.

"I can't say it has hurt our business any," he said. "It's one of those things that you have to do, so you just go ahead and do it to get it over with, and let things get back to normal."

Loomer said the day-to-day business at Montgomery's Furniture has been relatively normal despite the construction.

"(Customers) are a little more cautious and careful trying to miss the markers getting in, but I think they're dealing with it," he said.