Nightingale Street is a significant north-south route in the city of Andover, and it will soon be closed from Crosstown Boulevard to 161st Avenue for reconstruction between mid-June and late August.
City Engineer and Public Works Superintendent Dave Berkowitz said keeping to this timeline is important because the city wants the project done before students go back to school. A high school, middle school and elementary school are nearby.
The Andover City Council June 4 approved a $1,197,710 bid for Rum River Contracting of Princeton. Most of the project costs will be covered by the city, but 13 property owners will each pay a $3,000 assessment.
“The sooner we can start the better,” Berkowitz said June 6. The preconstruction meeting to determine the official start date happened after this edition went to press, but signs will be posted to alert the public once this date is set.
While the road will still be open to neighborhoods with street access to Nightingale Street, Berkowitz encouraged residents to avoid the construction zone as much as possible to make it easier on the contractor’s crew.
Although the project should be done by Labor Day and the first day of school, the road closure during the summer will create hassles in other neighborhoods.
A portion of Crosstown Boulevard in this area is always closed during the Andover Family Fun Fest the second weekend in July. People will have to find an alternative route to get to this community festival.
Berkowitz said Andover Boulevard will be a detour route during some of the festival, except for about an hour on the Saturday morning when the 5K fun run/walk is on this street. The run usually goes down Nightingale Street.
According to Councilmember Sheri Bukkila, the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office usually encourages people to use Nightingale Street when leaving after the fireworks show, so an alternative route is necessary.
A piece of good news for the neighborhood is the trail on the east side of Nightingale Street will be extended to 159th Lane. The city originally was going to stop the trail at 157th Lane because of wetlands north of here possibly making this a costly segment.
The council asked for the extra two blocks after resident Steve Peterson presented a petition with 175 signatures of support at the Feb. 19 meeting.
Eric Hagen is at [email protected]