Pequot Lakes: Downtown road project begins

Goal is to complete Rasmussen Road and South Washington Avenue project by mid-August

A sign on Butler Street in Pequot Lakes warns of road work ahead on Rasmussen Road. Nancy Vogt / Echo Journal

The Rasmussen Road and South Washington Avenue improvement project got underway last week in downtown Pequot Lakes with cooperative spring weather, and hopes are to get the project substantially completed by July 2 rather than mid-October.

Tim Houle, city engineer with Widseth engineering firm (formerly Widseth Smith Nolting), updated the Pequot Lakes City Council on the project at its Tuesday, April 7, meeting, conducted online via Zoom.

The council agreed to issue $2,098,000 in bonds for the project. The total bond payment will be around $160,000 per year for 15 years and will be paid from a combination of tax levy and enterprise funds.

Council member Jerry Akerson said every road project should be assessed, including this project. The council previously talked about road assessments, declining to charge assessments for this project.

Houle said the contractor, RL Larson Excavating, started preliminary work Monday, April 6, and plans to do Main Street utility work at night so that road can remain open during the day for businesses.


The original contract called for the project to be substantially complete by Oct. 16 and done by Nov. 27 by doing work in phases designed to minimize disturbance and promote access.

Instead, the contractor hopes to combine some phases of work to be substantially done by July 2 and completely done by Aug. 14.

Those dates are dependent upon utility relocation issues, weather and other factors, Houle said, noting the contractor believed that given the COVID-19 situation, getting the job done faster would be a benefit.

The council also approved a waiver of the noise ordinance for overnight work on Main Street. City Administrator Nancy Malecha reminded the council there are residential homes and an apartment building near Main Street.

While the original intent was to invite the public to weekly construction progress meetings, Houle said given the COVID-19 situation that prohibits large gatherings, information instead will be shared via a weekly newsletter and the city website.

“We’re trying our best to keep everybody safe and yet keep everybody informed,” Houle said.

Nancy Vogt may be reached at 218-855-5877 or Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at

Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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