July 2, 2009

Local lives affected by 7th St. construction

By Matt Hopper

An older gentleman emerges from the east side of 4th Ave and 7th St. He squints beneath his baseball cap, peering long up and down the rubble-scattered road. Piled rocks and dirt lay, unevenly crested into the gutters, as he shuffles up the sidewalk surveying the construction progress. As he passes by within earshot he can be heard mumbling, "They’d better not leave this kind of a mess when they get to my house." For those driving throughout Washburn this summer, construction signs reading "Road Closed To Thru Traffic" might hinder a straight shot in any direction. Water construction and paving on the current section is slated to be finished sometime next week. It will then reach from 4th Ave to Main Ave. Seventh St., 6th St. and the Sundown repairs should then take place simultaneously. People can expect to breathe a sigh of relief around the beginning of school when the project should be completed. Roadwork has affected most Washburn citizens in one form or another. Signs blocking the way or dirt up to the driveway can easily frustrate those just observing the roadwork. At this point, most everyone has had to make some adjustment. "It’s really been an inconvenience," said Judy Lemer. Lemer’s home is one most visibly affected by the current road construction. Resting on the block of 5th Ave and 7th St., their front porch has provided an upfront view to the demolition show. The Lemer home is currently one of the few residences with a driveway extending out onto 7th St. Since construction began earlier this month the Lemers have had to rely on the kindness of neighbors to find nearby parking.

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