Carleton College's student newspaper since 1877

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

C&C: New Construction in Northfield

<w that March has finally left May in Minnesota, construction season has gotten off to a fast start here in Northfield. Over the past week, new projects have begun that will keep the summer busy and most of all, noisy. At the same time, another building plan will continue to chill throughout the summer months.

To start work off with a bang, the bedrock underneath Fourth Street near Division Street was blown up on Tuesday Afternoon. Fourth Street is being reconstructed to create new storm weather water and sewer lines as well as curbs and sidewalks. The project will also completely reconstruct road subgrade and surface. All of this was being done in the name of safety.

A two-person demolition team used dynamite to explode a portion the block of Fourth Street between Washington and Division Streets. The dynamite was needed because of the existence of bedrock underneath the road, which made digging nearly impossible. The demolition crew first drilled holes into the bedrock and then placed dynamite charges and ammonium nitrate into the holes to form the exploding material.

When the blast occurred, nearby buildings around that area of downtown were affected. Walls shook and ashes clouded the air both inside and outside. Tiny’s Hot Dogs owner Tim Sellers noticed the walls of his restaurant slightly closing in when the explosion occurred. Another Division Street shop owner complained about having the blast cause most of her customers to flee the premises. Yet she also remarked that she enjoyed watching one of the construction workers walk over to her store and demurely place up a hand signal denoting how much time was left till kaboom.

The city intends to rebuild Fourth Street from Division to Nevada Street. Other plans call for Union Street South from Second to Fifth Street and Sixth to Seventh Street to be rebuilt, making more explosions likely.

Sellers has gotten into the spirit of construction/explosion season by offering a special deal for his customers. Anyone in Tiny’s during an explosion will receive a free mug of root beer. It will be just one more waysthat the final weeks of Tiny’s will be a blast.

If one travels a few blocks west on Fourth Street, he or she can find another construction site. With Carleton officially receiving the money needed to create the proposed Arts Union upon the old Northfield Middle School, the College took no time to get started with the project. Already large mounds of dirt are covering the east side of the middle school. This mess came from construction crews doing asbestos abatement of that side of the building. The demolition of the middle school will likely occur in a few weeks. Even windows caulking had been overtaken by asbestos. The school administration hopes to open the Arts Union during the 2011-12 school year.

Finally, despite claims that the Northfield City Council would make a final decision on the site for the city’s new fire station, plans were stalled once again when a new opportunity was suddenly brought to the council table.

City council officials had been planning to build the new fire station where the Safety Center, which currently holds the city’s fire and police stations, is located at the intersection of Highways 3 and 19. However, city officials found out that the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) may move its maintenance facility to Dundas, leaving that space open for a new fire station. The city will not know MnDOT’s intentions for the site for possibly another four months but the council still voted to make the MnDOT land as the preferred location for a new fire station. Located on Highway 3 near Ninth Street, it could be another year until the site would be clean and ready for building. The postponing of the decision on the fire station site will save a little more drilling for another year.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Carletonian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *