Two Harbors’ 8th Street likely on holdTwo Harbors residents have long awaited reconstruction of Eighth Street, and while the project is taking a step forward, residents may have to wait another year for construction to begin.
By: Tom Olsen, Lake County News Chronicle
Two Harbors residents have long awaited reconstruction of Eighth Street, and while the project is taking a step forward, residents may have to wait another year for construction to begin.
Lake County and Two Harbors officials have signed an agreement to develop plans that will be put up for public comment and approval by the county board, city council and the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
The three-year project calls for the reconstruction of Eighth Street between First and Seventh Avenues and First Avenue between Seventh and Eighth Streets.
Although officials wanted to begin the project this year, the proposal will probably not get final approval until late summer or early fall, delaying construction until next spring.
“It could be a while yet,” Lake County board member Paul Bergman said. “It’s the speed of the government; there are so many layers to move through sometimes.”
Under the agreement, the county and city will split the costs of street construction. The city will pay for sewers and sidewalk and trail paving, while the county will cover other costs including traffic lights and signs, landscaping and providing access to properties.
The agreement allows Ayres and Associates to begin developing plans for the project, which should be completed this summer.
There are still some issues to be worked out, including a possible trail that would require an additional two feet of green space on each side of the street.
Property and business owners have previously expressed concern that widening the street would encroach on their properties and lead to unnecessary expenses.
“I think that’s something that will be looked at in the planning stage,” Bergman said. “We’ll try to be as accommodating as possible. We don’t want business to be hurt.”