We Feel Your Pain

I mentioned earlier this week that construction officially hit Northfield last Friday. Today, we watched our drive access to Fifth Street disappear….actually we watched Fifth Street disappear. Yesterday afternoon, a ruptured gas line shut the gas off to our building until about 3:45 p.m. today. I appreciated the quick response of the Xcel folks and our own city staff, Jeremy Klotz and Dave Nelson of the city Facilities Division who got stuff working again today and Sean Simonson with our city engineering staff who kept us informed of what was going on today. Other than the live-in firefighters taking cold showers last night and this morning, we maintained our operational readiness for an emergency.

Note, the area between the two orange barrels is our access drive. Unfortunately, the crane kind of liked that location for quite a while.

This picture faces northwest at what used to be the Highway 3 and 5th Street Intersection.
Here a worker is putting some dirt on the incline so fire vehicles and police emergency vehicles can get on Highway 3.

I don’t think there will be any right turn traffic on 5th Street to go north on highway 3 any more for a while.

Eventually, all the pavement was removed off 5th street from the Highway 3 intersection to the 5th Street Bridge.

It’s a mess and a challenge to navigate, but you can still reach the Safety Center on 5th Street from Water Street. Just follow the Barrels. If you need information or a copy of a report and don’t want to venture into the maze, you can call us during the week (7 am to 7 pm) and we can get you out a copy of an accident report or other documents that are relatively compact. Feel free to give our office a call at 507-645-4477.

The bright side is the completed intersection will be much safer with left turn lanes and better bike and pedestrian access. As a regular user of that intersection as a pedestrian, the changes will be welcome and worth the challenges of our current construction situation. My only hope….please don’t let it rain for a few days!

You can access Highway 3 updates through the MnDot website here. The link includes a map of the impacted areas, tips for businesses to weather the construction and a Power Point presentation for impacted businesses.

About Gary Smith

Chief Smith has served over 31 years in the criminal justice field. He is currently a consultant assisting public and private organizations better establish community goals and ethical conduct with the members of their organizations. Chief Smith serves as a facilitator, lecturer, professor and other capacities both inside and outside the criminal justice field.
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