RANDI SZABO, Banik Communications
Concrete placement on the west end began again Tuesday. The southernmost lane and curb was expected to be complete by end of day Wednesday. Today, the concrete crew expects to fill in the two access channels at Second and Fourth avenues. Traffic could be up on concrete by Saturday night. The public should be aware that the points of access across the concrete will change on a daily basis, depending on the curing rates for the new surface. Crossings will only be available at designated channels. Meanwhile, work will begin on approaches for the southside businesses. ACI Concrete, based out of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, will begin setting forms for approaches as early as Friday. “They’ll use high early’ mix, which achieves strength faster,” said Project Manager Sam Weyers. Even with the faster mix, the approaches will take up to three days to cure. “When traffic is moved over in front of the south side businesses, we want motorists to be able to turn off the highway with normal access that’s the plan,” said Weyers. Pouring of the north lanes from Ninth Avenue West to First Avenue could start as soon as Wednesday. About eight to 12 more days will be needed to finish up the concrete road surface on the west end. The installation of the storm drain box pipe out through Seventh Avenue was a big step that was achieved yesterday. “In the previous seven working days, with the rain, we got in 15 pieces of pipe. In good weather Tuesday, we placed 29,” said Weyers. Two more weeks of excavation are expected to complete the storm drain placement and connection. The connection of the storm lateral across Second Street at Montana Avenue is expected to be done by tonight. At Wednesday’s public meeting, Mayor Bob Rice discussed the topic of wear and tear on Second Street because of additional traffic. “It’s taking a beating because it wasn’t built for semis,” he said. The mayor also requested a temporary 4-way stop on Second Street and Fifth Avenue. The project received some praise Wednesday from Bear Paw Development Corp.’s Craig Erickson. “I drove into town from Malta in a heavy downpour last week, and there wasn’t even a puddle in the gutter at 14th Avenue,” Erickson said. “Before the construction project, with that much rain, there is no doubt 14th would have been seriously flooded. The project’s design and construction is doing what it was intended to do in impressive fashion,” he said. More information will be provided at the weekly public meeting on Wednesday, June 25, at 9 a.m. at the Hill County Electric Hospitality Room at the east end of the building. Anyone can attend. Questions can also be directed to the Nelcon field office at 265-1047. Information about the construction schedule and alternate business access is available at www.us2havre. com. Visitors to the Web site can sign up for automatic updates on the progress of planned construction. Business owners can use the comments link to e-mail their alternate access information for posting on the Web site. U. S. Highway 2 through Havre remains closed to loads over 12-feet wide. On-street parking is prohibited in the construction zone.