Construction ahead at Chain of Lakes

If you're going near the Chain of Lakes over the next few weeks, be prepared for some detours.

Near Lake Calhoun, CenterPoint Energy will close down portions of Dean Boulevard beginning Wednesday for line restoration work. The Park and Recreation Board said this will mean detours for many getting to the lake.

Meanwhile, the Met Council's Environmental Services Division is rehabilitating parts of the sewer system near Lake Harriet. That has affected bike and vehicle traffic near the parkway.

Residents can receive alerts about parkway closures by signing up at minneapolispark.org/subscribe.

Alejandra Matos @amatos12

Oak Park Heights

New interstate bridge is starting to take shape

Less imagination is required lately to picture a finished St. Croix River bridge as tall piers rise off the water and the first crossbeams to connect them are built.

Workers will continue tying reinforcement steel on a crossbeam for Pier 8, the closest to the Minnesota shoreline, and will start soon on Pier 9, the Minnesota Department of Transportation said.

In Oak Parks Heights, which will inherit bridge traffic from Stillwater when the new four-lane bridge opens in late 2016, Hwy. 36 traffic will shift to new rebuilt lanes this week, MnDOT said. Other lanes then will close for construction.

Across the river, in St. Croix County, Wis., grading continues on a new Hwy. 64 that will link the bridge to an existing four-lane highway near Somerset.

Kevin Giles @stribgiles

Scott County

Controversial mining project advances — a bit

Scott County commissioners are satisfied with the final environment impact statement on a controversial gravel mine in Jordan. They unanimously pronounced it adequate last week.

But that doesn't mean the board has given its stamp of approval to the project itself. The developer, Jordan Aggregates, still needs to undergo a lengthy and potentially difficult permitting process. No timetable was given for when the company will file the documents needed for the initial interim-use permit.

The study looked at monitoring groundwater in and around the gravel pit under normal conditions and when floods occur, a mitigation plan if groundwater is found to be contaminated, and plans to monitor and mitigate ice jams.

Pat Pheifer



City buys solar panels for community center

Eden Prairie's community center will be going green with solar panels on its roof this fall.

The City Council on July 14 approved spending nearly $63,500 on a solar panel system for the center's roof, though the city said a 10-year solar rebate will reduce the costs to $26,260. Minneapolis-based All Energy Solar will install the 4.76-kilowatt solar panel system on the roof in early September, and it's slated to be operating by mid-October.

A kiosk in the community center lobby will give more information on the project. The city said that the energy savings from the 36 solar panels will pay back the cost of the system in 14 to 15 years and that the panels will last up to 30 to 40 years.

KELLY SMITH @kellystrib