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Road work will reroute parade

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news Farmington, 55024

Farmington Minnesota P.O. Box 192 / 312 Oak St. 55024

What do Saturdays and the Walnut Street reconstruction project have in common? The 2010 Dew Days parade, of course.

Not only will the upcoming Grand Day parade be held on a Saturday - a change from the long-standing tradition of having it on a Sunday - but the parade route will be slightly altered this year, thanks to reconstruction work on Walnut Street.

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Instead of the usual route -- leaving the fairgrounds and traveling north on Third Street to Spruce, then east on Spruce to go south again on Fourth Street -- folks on the other side of Third get to watch from their front yards. The parade route will still go north on Third to Spruce, but then head west on Spruce to Second Street, and head south again.

It's a slight change to the parade route, but one Farmington city engineer Kevin Schorzman thinks will be better for planning purposes. The Walnut Street project was planned in phases, and the phase that is closest to the old parade route is progressing, but just to be on the safe side, Schorzman recommended the change.

"Basically (police chief Brian Lindquist) and I are both planners. Neither one of us wanted to deal with having to change things at the last minute," Schorzman said.

On schedule

The Walnut Street project is moving along on schedule, according to Schorzman. The project is now in its second phase. The sanitary sewer portion of that phase was to be completed Tuesday, with the water main and storm sewer construction to follow.

Crews have encountered a fair amount of water underground, but nothing out of the ordinary for downtown Farmington. During last year's Spruce Street reconstruction, crews had to do some dewatering two or three times, so Schorzman is not surprised by the amount of water this year's project has produced.

Schorzman was going to talk with Farmington City Council members Tuesday night about what to do when it comes to replacing the trees that were taken down in the project area.

The city has a boulevard tree route map in place, and when it comes to replacing trees that come down due to construction projects, that route map is the go-to document. The Walnut Street project area is not included on that map, but several larger, older trees were removed from the neighborhood in preparation for the project. Schorzman plans to seek council direction at a workshop Tuesday evening.

Schorzman said the project should be done on time.

"Things are going well. On schedule. We're still planning to have it done before Labor Day," he said. "Of course, that's weather dependent."

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