One of Albertville’s central corridors was shut down for the summer this morning as crews begin a major renovation for 57th Street Northeast between Lachman and Main avenues.
The project, which has been years in the making, will shut down traffic around St. Albert’s Catholic Church and the St. Albert Parish Center for the summer, as crews widen 57th Street, bury utility cables and remove poles, improve storm sewer and sanitary sewer lines and, finally, lay down a new road.
“It’s been on the plans for quite some time and this was the year we could move ahead with it after some very good discussions with the Catholic church. We had worked to get it done last year, but we think we’re moving forward this year with a plan that’s better for both the city and the church,” said Albertville City Administrator Adam Nafstad.
The city was forced to use “right-of-way” policies in order to get property from the church, which lies on the northern side of 57th Avenue. St. Albert’s, which lacks in parking already, was forced to give up parking areas on both the east and west sides of the sanctuary due to the expanding roadway.
But the city is working with the general contractor on the project to construct a new lot for the church, which includes some of the existing parking lot, but also expansion to the north, toward its border with Central Park.
“Adding parking there, particularly on that west side of the building, will help alleviate some of the property they’ll lose in the process,” Nafstad said.
“It’s kind of at the heart of Friendly City Days there, so making the road look a bit nicer and wider makes it easier to navigate every summer,” Nafstad said.
The project won’t, at first, impact trucks and sheriff’s office cruisers at the Albertville Fire Department, as that portion of 57th is already expanded to the west of Lachmann and down to County 19 (LaBeaux Avenue). Trucks won’t, however, be able to head east on 57th, so it will impact response times slightly.
Work on the project should wrap up by mid-September or early October, weather permitting. The cost of the project is around $800,000 for the City of Albertville, and approximately $176,000 for the church’s new parking lot.