By Garrett Ammesmaki,
An aerial view of the finished Boynton Avenue Project. Photo: Courtesy of Stockwell Engineers
Around 20 people from the community came out for Monday evening’s ribbon cutting to celebrate the completion of Boynton Avenue construction, almost year to the day that initial funding was approved for the project.
Mayor Stacy DuChene shared a quick speech before the ribbon cutting that saw attendees including City Councilors, state-level employees, county-level politicians and other members of the community.
DuChene thanked everyone who invested their time and energy into the project, and expressed appreciation for the patience of residents along Boynton Avenue.
Though the closure of the main thoroughfare disrupted many peoples lives for the past year, the upgrades to infrastructure and the roadway will benefit the city for many years to come, she said.
The ribbon cutting marks an early completion of the two-phase project that included reconstruction of the entire roadway and the utilities underneath. It also greatly expanded and connected each section of the sidewalk along the north side of the street.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be done,” said City Administrator Nate Vander Plaats. “Not every public works project goes this well, but in my time here this is the smoothest project we’ve ever had, and probably the most complicated one.”
The work included not only expansion of the sidewalk, but also improvements to the sanitary sewer, water main, and storm sewer. Throughout construction, they also had many private utility companies such as Midcontinent Communications and Xcel Energy working on their own lines.
Vander Plaats said it’s too early to say exactly how much the entire project cost, but the current estimate is around $3.6 million. Roughly $5.8 million was budgeted for the project, comprised of $2.6 Million in grants and around $3.2 million in loans.
Holstein Excavating was in charge of the Boynton Avenue project with around six subcontractors working underneath them.
“They were well organized and really cared about their workmanship, and that goes a long way on these projects,” said City Engineer Mitch Mergen.
The work was separated in two phases. The first phase was a section from Highway 17 to Poplar, and the second phase stretched from Poplar to Juniper.
Boynton Avenue reached substantial completion date on October 21. All that is left is a few other items that include seeding and landscaping, which will be taken care of in Spring of next year.
“Any time you end a public works project on time or early, it’s a big thing,” said Vander Plaats. “We’re definitely gonna notch this one in our belt.”