Blue Earth brightens downtown with Main Street reconstruction

Main Street reconstruction | Bye Bye Potholes

The City of Blue Earth paved the way for an enhanced downtown shopping district when it completed its Main Street reconstruction project last fall. Complementing the new concrete road, the city opted to retain its angled parking and use exposed aggregate crosswalks and colored concrete pavers to dress up Main Street between 5th and 7th Streets, and on 6th Street from Main to Nicollet. The project included full reconstruction of the underground utilities, street surfacing, sidewalks and street lighting.

Project Description

The rebuilt concrete road replaced a deteriorating concrete road and the sanitary sewer, storm sewer and water lines below; all are estimated to be at least 60 years old. The Main Street reconstruction project had been in the planning stages for nearly a decade. City Engineer Wes Brown of Bolton & Menk said the city selected concrete for the project because of its durability and because the roads adjacent to the newly constructed road are also constructed with concrete.

Unique to this project: The city obtained a variance from the state to retain the angled parking in front of the storefronts. The exposed aggregate crosswalks used 100 percent crushed quartzite to achieve the aesthetics desired. And recycled concrete from the original street pavement was used in the roadway’s sub base.

Brown also said the Main Street reconstruction project was completed in three stages to minimize disruption to the businesses and traffic flow. The sidewalks were also kept open to pedestrian traffic until the final three days of the project when the new cement sidewalks were poured.

The project’s total cost was $2.3 million. Faribault County paid $1.03 million from its County State Aid Account, which is funded in part by the state’s gas tax, motor vehicle fees and motor vehicle sales tax. Blue Earth paid about $836,000 ($143,000 from its sewer fund, $356,000 from its water fund and $337,000 from its street fund. Property owners were assessed $289,999 and Blue Earth Light and Water kicked in $133,000 to cover the cost of new streetlights.

Project Dates

May 2016-October 2016

Project details

• Concrete depth: 7 inches with 6 inches of Class 5 Aggregate sub base and 12 inches of select granular borrow
• Total project length: .156 miles
• Total Concrete Placed: 2,084 CY, including concrete used for pavement, curb, gutter and sidewalks


Owner: City of Blue Earth and Faribault County
Project Lead: City of Blue Earth (City Engineer Wes Brown of Bolton & Menk)
Project Designers: Bolton & Menk, Fairmont, MN
Prime Contractor: Holtmeier Construction, Mankato, MN
Concrete contractor: Nielsen Concrete, Kasota, MN
Ready Mix Concrete Producer: Cemstone, Wells, MN
Quartzite Supplier: Siouxstone Quarry, Jeffers, MN

Download the case study.

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