It all seemed so simple at one point. The City of Redwood Falls was planning to do a complete rebuild of the infrastructure under Drew Street this year, upgrading water and sewer systems for a large residential part of the city.
But replacing sidewalks, streets, and other infrastructure to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act would have required moving all the electric poles and street lights back a few feet. That takes time and money in itself, independent of the street reconstruction.
As it happens, the Redwood Falls Public Utilities was planning on relocating the power lines in those neighborhoods underground someday anyway, just for greater safety and convenience. It’s a big project, placing 16 city blocks of overhead powerlines underground.
Earlier this year, the Redwood Falls City Council approved postponing the street reconstruction until next summer, and relocating the powerlines in that neighborhood this year, if possible. At Tuesday’s city council meeting, the councilors approved a $1.5 million plan to start relocating the electrical infrastructure in those neighborhoods as soon as possible.
Chuck Heins, superintendent of the Redwood Falls Public Utilities said he’s hoping they can get most of the electrical infrastructure moved this year, but there may be some overlap with the beginning of the street reconstruction next year.