Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Rochester Public Works Department is spreading the word about an upcoming sewer project that will impact a busy area of downtown Rochester for over a year.

The $6.5 million project, which will involve both the sanitary and storm sewer systems, is scheduled to begin May 1st and be completed in July of next year. It involves upgrading the sewer systems under and along 1st Avenue and 2nd Street Southeast to provide the capacity needed for future growth associated with the Destination Medical Center initiative.

Rochester Public Works Dept.
Rochester Public Works Dept.

The first phase will involve installing sanitary sewer improvements on 1st Avenue between 1sst and 2nd Streets Southeast, while the second phase involves work on 2nd Street from 1st to 3rd Avenues Southeast. The third phase of the project covers the installation of new sanitary sewer siphon on the 3rd Avenue Southwest. A fourth phase, which won’t start until next year, will have crews installing new sanitary and storm sewers from 1st Avenue Southeast to South Broadway.

Rochester City Engineer Dillon Dombrovski states, “We appreciate the public’s patience as we complete this important project. Improvements to the sanitary and storm sewers in this area will prevent costly future repairs of aging infrastructure while also providing capacity for our growing community.”

Impacts include:

  • Impacts to Rochester Public Library customers: Rochester Public Library will be open throughout construction. Pedestrians will be able to access the building via skyways and sidewalks. The bookdrop will be temporarily relocated to 1st Street SE during the first phase of the project.
  • Impacts to the Mayo Civic Center, Rochester Art Center, and the Rochester Civic Theatre: These buildings will be open throughout construction. Patrons will need to find alternate parking while the Civic Center Ramp is closed. ADA accessibility remains open on the east side of Civic Center Drive.
  • Impacts to users of the Civic Center Parking Ramp: The Civic Center Parking Ramp will be closed in May due to the entry/exit being unaccessible. Routine maintenance of the Civic Center Parking Ramp has been scheduled to occur simultaneously in order to reduce the time the ramp is unavailable for use.
  • Impacts to drivers: Closures of intersections will occur. Travel lanes will be reduced or closed.
  • Impacts to sidewalk and recreational trail users: Pedestrian access will remain through the area though some sidewalks will be closed. The recreational trails under the 3rd Avenue SE Bridge will have temporary closures when the sanitary sewer siphon is being installed and related work is being done on the bridge that impact trail safety.
  • Impacts to Rochester Public Transit (RPT) Users: RPT buses will be experience minimal impacts in the first phase of the project. Subsequent phases of the project will require detours and stop relocations or closures. Visit for complete details on the impacts of the project.

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