Rochester rolls out plans for next construction project

(ABC 6 News) – The joke amongst many Minnesotans is that we have two seasons in our state, winter and construction. With phase one of the N. Broadway Ave. reconstruction project wrapping up, the City of Rochester is already looking toward phase two.

Tuesday, city officials held an open house to present their preliminary plans for the project and get feedback from the community.

"We’re here tonight to talk about the next phase that begins at the Silver Lake Dam and ends at the Rec Center. We’re beginning to get feedback from the public and informing people about what’s to come with this next project, said City Engineer Dillon Dombrovski.

Sharon Blomberg, a Rochester resident who has lived off North Broadway since the 80s, said she’s noticed a need for improvements along the roadway, but does have some concerns. "You can’t take a left onto North Broadway anymore. Our street, 16 1/4 St. will be right only. And so now we got to go down to the light and make a U-turn to go back downtown," she said.

The initial plans for the reconstructed roadway include two lanes going in both directions with a median separating the traffic, bike paths on both sides that will allow for both north and south bike traffic, and a walking path on both sides.

Dillon Dombrovski says it’s the goal of the city to make the road safer, "Thinking about how do we transform a former highway into an urban street that meets the needs of all the users."

This area of Rochester has experienced a lot of road construction in recent years that has made travel inconvenient at times. But city leaders are telling people to stay positive and patient and look towards the future.

"What I try to look at is, isn’t great that we are improving things for the future. You might say that it’s much nicer to be in a community that isn’t doing this, but over time their infrastructure is getting worn down and it’s really getting crumbling. Where we’re a little more forward looking and using the resources at our disposal to try to improve things for the future," said Rochester City Council member Patrick Keane.

Some good news at least for those experiencing some construction fatigue, the project isn’t scheduled to begin until May of 2024.

Click here for more information on the project.