DIXON – Repairs to the street and crosswalk at West First Street and Hennepin Avenue are slated to start next week, following approval by the City Council during a special meeting today.
Last week, high temperatures and humidity caused a large fissure to open up in the roadway and brick crosswalk at that area, and the council hired Twin Cities Construction to fix the problem for $17,754.
Councilman Dennis Considine, who voted against the measure, said it is an "outrageous amount of money" for the work and asked whether the street failure is likely to occur elsewhere downtown.
Each crosswalk has a different level of sun and shade, and they don't anticipate future pavement blowouts, he said.
"We don't think this failure is a harbinger of things to come," Heckman said.
As for the cost, Public Works Director Matt Heckman said repairing customized work, like the bricks, has a higher price tag, adding that they want to get the work done sooner rather than later, when costs can go up once contractors already have their list of projects lined up. He also said the city wants to get the project done before the Petunia Festival next month.
The area was filled with gravel for a temporary fix, and Councilman Mike Venier said he was concerned about waiting on the project as the gravel continues to spread.
"I think we're in a pinch here and need to get this done," he said.
The start date has yet to be set, but once work begins, the intersection will be closed for 3 or 4 days, but parking and U-turns will be allowed.
The council originally planned to vote on waiving the bid process to hasten repairs for work that was estimated to cost about $26,000, but after getting a quote lower than $20,000, the waiver was no longer necessary.
The council also approved an emergency purchase made last week to order a roots rotary blower for the sewer plant. The $25,180 piece of equipment is basically one of three large air pumps at the plant that help to separate out solid waste, and all are 17 years old.
One of the blowers failed, and it will take 6 to 8 weeks to get a replacement.
City workers are attempting to rebuild the other two blowers, but will likely need to purchase another.
The City Council next meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 121 W. Second St.
Go to discoverdixon.org or call City Hall at 815-288-1485 for an agenda or more information.