Local underpass renovation named ‘Project of the Year’

Published 6:43 am Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A recently completed Austin construction project received public recognition at a Tuesday city council meeting for nabbing a state-wide award.

Work done to renovate the Oakland Avenue underpass in the downtown area, which wrapped up in June, received the Minnesota Public Works Association “Project of the Year” award for 2009.

City engineer Jon Erichson said the award was quite an honor.

“For the city of Austin to win this award is really a big deal,” he said, adding that a number of other good projects were up for consideration.

The project cost roughly $1.6 million and took nearly eight years to plan and complete. Erichson said its goals were to make the area safer, more accessible and less prone to maintenance issues, among other things — objectives the engineer felt were accomplished.

“It was an honor to be part of it,” Erichson added.

Erichson, city surveyor Dennis Bissen and assistant city engineer Steven Lang were honored with a plaque by council Tuesday, as was a representative from Ulland Brothers, the contractor that worked on the project.