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Completion of Horn Blvd. project delayed

Wet weather and the sudden onset of cold weather will delay the completion of the Horn Boulevard reconstruction project in Silver Bay until spring.

Representatives from the project contractor, Ulland Brothers, and Lake County Highway engineer Krysten Foster attended the Silver Bay City Council meeting Monday to answer questions and get the opinions of the council.

Ulland Brothers has faced rain nearly every three days throughout the fall that delayed paving of the road near William Kelley Schools. The delays will force the contractor to delay completing the sidewalks and some of the turf establishment until the 2018 construction season begins, according Ulland Brothers' project manager Rob Meseroll.

"We dealt a lot with weather this season and it's our primary reason why we are where we're at," Meseroll said. "With the rainfalls that we've seen and the onset of cold and snow really put a damper on ourselves as well as many of our other projects that are ongoing."

Ulland Brothers will spend the rest of the construction season working to finish grading the edges of driveways where concrete has been poured to make them more safe and passable for residents. In addition, the street signage will be installed prior to the end of the season. Some temporary turf establishment will be installed to prevent runoff and erosion during the spring.

Foster said she came to the meeting to gage the public's feedback to Ulland Brothers' request to push completion of the project until the spring. She told the board she agreed with the contractor that it would be better to wait until the spring to complete the sidewalks.

When asked how Lake County felt about delaying the project until spring, Foster told the board the county has not taken a position yet on the issue.

"We wanted to be here for public feedback," Foster said. "The highway department hasn't had any calls over the past few weeks. We have talked with some residents on the road who are curious why things aren't moving along a little faster than what they were expecting. The county isn't taking a position until we get some feedback from other stakeholders."

Councilor Shane Hoff asked if the project could be put off for other priorities until later in the summer and Meseroll responded, "No."

Mayor Scott Johnson said he believes the county and Ulland Brothers have done the best they can to complete the work, but the weather throughout the fall has been uncooperative.

"Considering the weather, I think the intentions always were between the county and the contractor to have this project done in time, and you couldn't control that," Johnson said.

Jamey Malcomb

Jamey Malcomb started as a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle in August 2015. Malcomb is a native of North Carolina and holds a bachelor's degree in English and history from the George Washington University and a master's degree in education from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Malcomb moved to Minnesota in July 2012 and previously worked as a sports clerk and news assistant at the Duluth News Tribune. He is the beat writer for the Lake County Board of Commissioners, Lake Superior School District board of education and high school sports in Lake County. 

(218) 834-2141
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