Sanborn Boulevard project officials provided a detailed update to the community while addressing concerns for nearby residents eager to see the project through during Thursday night's meeting.
Community members and city officials gathered at Mitchell Technical Institute's amphitheater to receive a timeline on Phases II and III of the Sanborn project, and seized on an opportunity to express their concerns.
SPN & Associates Engineer Joe Schroeder opened the public meeting by providing an updated timeline of the project.
"The project is moving along nicely," Schroeder said. "We will continue to hold meetings that will be open to the public throughout Phase II as well. We want to work with you through this, but I think everyone knows how necessary this project is."
Phase II is the construction on Sanborn between First and Seventh avenues, which will include complete reconstruction of water and sewer utilities, sidewalk and curb and gutter. That work will closely replicate the Phase I project, which was completed in 2018 from Havens Avenue to the bridge over Dry Run Creek.
Schroeder said Phase II is slated to wrap up in October of this year, while Phase III is set to be completed by September of 2020.
Phase II will be split into four sequences, which Schroeder said is designed to help property owners have access to their homes and parking spaces, along with easing traffic flow.
Sequence one of the project will extend from West First Avenue and Sanborn Boulevard and will begin April 15, with plans to finish the sequence by May 31.
"The existing one-ways between Rowley and Minnesota Streets will be converted to two-way streets to help with access during the project," Schroeder said.
Upon completion of sequence two, West First Avenue and Sanborn Boulevard will be open to traffic. Sequences three and four are set to begin May 20, which will finalize Phase II of the project, and Minnesota Street will be open before work begins on the last sequences, Schroeder said.
Because the water and sewer systems will be undergoing extensive construction during the project, Schroeder said residents living in the area of each sequence may experience interruptions.
"Notices of water or sewer interruptions and street closures will be distributed at least 24 hours in advance," Schroeder said. "There might also be some emergency situations on this project and a 24-hour notice may not be possible, but we will do our best to notify as soon as possible."
Shroeder said the intent is to shut the water off for a duration of 4 to 8 hours in attempt to minimize the interruption time.
On January 25, the city awarded the bid to H&W Contracting, of Sioux Falls. The cost for Phase II is $4,695,995.22, while Phase III is $3,264,121.45.
Representing the winning bidder was John Rennich, of H&W Contracting. Rennich is the leader of the Sanborn improvement project and broke down the work entailed in each sequence of Phase II.
Implementing a new storm sewer system, along with redoing the water main, will entail the work included for sequence one. Rennich said sequence two will focus on improving the West First Avenue and Sanborn Boulevard intersection, while the bridge deck work will be undergoing construction at the same time.
"In conjunction with sequence two, you're going to have the closure of the bridge, so the bridge deck work, railing and fencing can get done at the same time as well," Rennich said during the meeting.
Sequence three will stretch from the First Avenue intersection running north along Sanborn up to West Seventh Avenue, which will continue implementing the storm sewer system.
"The whole intent is to start on the downstream end and bring it upstream; that way you maintain drainage throughout the entire project," Rennich said.
For businesses affected by the project, signs will be provided on Main Street and Minnesota Street with arrows directing customers to the location.
There will also be signage for truck and traffic routes transporting materials during the project.
"We don't want trucks running through the city of Mitchell, so we do have signage up to run trucks to the bypass and around the city," Schroeder said.
During the public input portion of the meeting, Greg Olivier, a resident living at 416 W. Fourth Ave., took issue with the one-way street he lives on being switched to a two-way street for a designated amount of time.
"Since we're so used to the one-way streets, it just scares us having to switch to a two-way street," Olivier said. "I'm nervous that we will start to see some serious car accidents when this happens, because it's already a narrow street."
In response, Schroeder said the primary intention for implementing the two-way street is providing convenience for drivers.
"The reasoning for the two-way is to allow access for people to come through and go west to Minnesota," Schroeder said.
Schroeder concluded the public meeting by inviting community members to the weekly meetings, which are open to the public and will take place at 9 a.m. every Tuesday at City Hall.