The weather may not be helping out, but those leading the Burr Street construction project are continuing to plug along on the work.
According to an update at Monday's Mitchell City Council meeting, the Nov. 15 deadline to complete the bulk of the work on Phase II of the project is expected to be done on time. Mitchell Public Works Director Kyle Croce said the weekly progress meetings between city officials, the South Dakota Department of Transportation and the primary contractor T&R Contracting, of Sioux Falls, indicate there has been no change in the timeline.
"We have been coordinating with the state DOT on their weekly progress meetings," Croce said. "The contractor is required to pave by Nov. 15. There's a lot of concrete that needs to be put down."
The questions came during the public input portion of Monday's meeting from Council President Steve Rice, who said he had been getting questions about the status of the roadway.
"Is it going to be done," Rice asked. "Do we know what will happen out there as far as temporary access or snow removal?"
The second phase of work includes a complete reconstruction of Burr from north of Interstate 90 through the Spruce Street intersection. Croce said temporary asphalt could be used in some sections before that Nov. 15 deadline to make sure there's no areas of the roadway that have a gravel base, and said the city will continue to make sure progress is being made.
"There are some questions with some of the boundaries and the curbs with snow removal," Croce added. "We'll continue to work with DOT to get those questions addressed."
Through Tuesday, Mitchell had received 2.08 inches of precipitation in the month, and 6.12 inches of precipitation since Sept. 1, according to the National Weather Service. There is some cooperation expected in the next seven days from the weather, with highs in the mid-50s through Oct. 22, along with highs near 60 degrees on Thursday and Friday.
Another delay for the Jitters building
Once again, the decrepit Jitters Building along Main Street in Mitchell has secured a stay of execution. At least for a few extra days.
With a special dedication of the Corn Palace murals scheduled for Oct. 26, Mitchell city leaders asked if the Jitters teardown could be delayed until after the event, which is scheduled to include vendors, a motorcycle ride from Sioux Falls and invited guests from the USS South Dakota, which is featured prominently in the 2019 murals, titled "A Salute to the Military."
During Monday's City Council meeting, Councilman Dan Allen asked if the Jitters building will be taken down before or after that event.
"We start that Monday (Oct. 22), but we'll hold it off after this," Deputy Public Works Director Terry Johnson said.
It's the third event along Main Street that has been directly cited in delaying the teardown of the building. The Mitchell City Council had previously approved tearing down the building in the 500 block of North Main Street. That occurred in July, seeking to tear down the building after the Blue and White Days homecoming parade for Dakota Wesleyan University, which was held Saturday.
But then in August, Allen asked whether the work was being done while Mitchell would host hundreds of pheasant hunters for the annual Pheasant Country banquet at the Corn Palace. So city officials said the project could be bumped back to the week of Oct. 22, following the banquet on Friday, Oct. 19.
In both instances, Allen cited that the construction project might not be the best look for visitors coming to town for the special occasions.
The Jitters building, which has that name for the former coffee shop located there, was built in 1916 but hasn't been regularly used since 2015. The city completed asbestos remediation in the building earlier this year, which was a first step in taking down the building.
The teardown is expected to take about three weeks, with Main Street required to be closed for a few days as part of the project. VanderPol Dragline, of Mitchell, is contracted to take down the building.