Why All the Construction?

Most Auburn citizens understand the value of the construction going on in our city. While it can be an annoyance to have traffic delays or closed streets, everyone I talk to agrees the work will be a real asset to our city for many decades to come.

What people may not understand is why there is so much construction at one time. In fact, the most common question I get about it is, “Why are the construction projects being done all at once in the same year?”

That’s a good question—and there’s a good answer that goes with it.

When you tally all the projects, they amount to more than $10 million in construction throughout Auburn this year—which is really quite amazing. The overwhelming majority of those dollars—at least 80 percent—are state and federal funds. Funds were available this year and we needed to take advantage of that while we could—even if it happened all at once. Therefore, our job has been to manage the work to cause as little disruption as possible.

The good news is that most projects are on track. Here’s an update:

  • Widening and upgrading Betz Road from Indiana Avenue to Main Street. The Main Street-Betz Road intersection will be completely open—permanently—in a month. After that, we’ll close part of the Indiana Avenue-Betz Road intersection for about six to eight weeks. Then, the final leg—completion of Betz Road—will occur through late fall.
  • Completing a sewer separation in the Northwest Auburn to comply with the Clean Water Act and reduce the number of combined sewers and overflow into Cedar Creek. This project is complete except for some landscaping and ground restoration. This fall, we plan to mill and resurface several streets that were particularly torn up during the sewer project.
  • Reconstructing Grandstaff Drive from State Road 8 to North Street. While traffic is slower and more congested in this area, the project is on track and estimated for completion by late fall.
  • Replacing two waterlines on State Road 8 that date back to the early 1900s with a new 12-inch waterline. The concrete and waterlines are in and the project is done—minus some landscaping and restoration taking place right now.
  • Building a trail from Rieke Park to the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum. While this project is just beginning, it will have little impact on traffic flow and access. The focus is on sidewalks, not streets.
  • Reconstruction of State Road 8. This state project is at its construction peak. Milling and resurfacing is going on right now and I’ve been told it should be complete by the end of August.

Thanks to all Auburn residents and businesses for your patience during all the construction. I’m confident we’ll find it worthwhile in just a short time.