By Josh Moniz
---- — ST. PETER — Construction began this week for St. Peter's Washington Avenue Link project with the design intended to give local residents an alternative to driving through town on busy roads, including Highway 169.
The city of St. Peter is aiming to realign Washington Avenue into a straight path that extends to Dodd Avenue. The road was the previous path for traffic to Highway 22 and currently has a major curve on its northern end.
The new design is to act as a major funnel for St. Peter's local traffic. The road will provide locals with a useful route across town without forcing them to interact with the busy highways that pass through town.
Additionally, the project is meant to stop people from cutting through residential roads along Washington Avenue.
The project also will involve building a new area for collecting storm water. The area is designed to allow the city to control the release of the collected water. Control of water flow into the river will help the city during flooding season and severe rainstorms.
The city has undergone a difficult, lengthy process in its efforts to complete the project. Most notably, the city performed an Environmental Assessment Study and negotiated the relocation of several residents, including several mobile homes in the Summit Park community.
The project was funded with a $1.4 million federal aid grant the city received to improve local traffic and funds from a $4.72 million bond for the city's various construction projects.