If you’ve driven or walked on Drew Street in Redwood Falls this week, you’ve probably noticed something unusual: all the trees have been chopped down. And many of them are pretty big trees too, decades old.

It’s the first stage of a long-planned $2.7 million complete reconstruction of Drew Street, all the way from E. 2nd Street to Tin Street. Keith Muetzel, Redwood Falls City Administrator, stated to KLGR on Friday, “The project includes new street, curb and gutter, sidewalk and under-ground utilities. The trees that are being removed are too close to the construction limits to remain in place without being damged. We plan to award the construction bid in early March and the project should start in May of this year.”

Jim Doering, Public Works Project Coordinator for the city, stated, “The trees are in the road right of way and not on private property…. A tree replacement plan has been developed and trees along the road will be replanted. However most existing were planted to close together and were crowded. The new plan provides for proper spacing.”

The Drew Street rebuild is actually phase two of a long-running goal of updating decades’ worth of outdated street infrastructure in one of Redwood Falls’ most populated neighborhoods. Phase one of the project was completed in 2007 with E. 2nd Street heavily rebuilt to redo the street, storm water, and water utility systems.

The main goal of the Drew Street rebuild is the sanitary sewer, which will be replaced at a larger diameter and adjusted grade to meet the new flow line in 2nd Street, which will increase capacity and flow.

The project by utility is included in the proposed 2021 budget with a project estimate of about $2,7 million. The estimated cost consists of the anticipated construction costs, contingency, engineering and legal/administrative costs.