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Wadena buildings being demolished for highway construction

Houle Excavating began demolishing and removing buildings within the Hwy 4 realignment project and the Hwy 10 project March 19 in Wadena. The Hanson Tire building was demolished March 22 and work to clear debris continued though the week. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal1 / 2
Work started to remove the former Star Tribune Depot building off Hwy 10 in Wadena on March 19. The building is being removed as part of the Hwy 10 construction project taking place in 2018 and 2019. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal2 / 2

Buildings are being demolished in Wadena this week in order to make way for changes in the traffic flow through the city.

Houle Excavating of Little Falls was contracted by the MnDOT to demolish and remove four structures in town starting with the former Hanson Tire, former Star Tribune Depot, former Wadena Light and Water and former Fastenal. Jake Houle was demolishing the Hanson Tire building Thursday morning, and said the process of tearing down and removing the four buildings will likely take a few weeks.

The Hanson Tire building was not a part of the MnDOT Hwy 10 project, but was included in the process with a request by Wadena County commissioners. The Hanson Tire building is being removed to make way for the realignment of CSAH 4, and the other buildings are being removed for the redevelopment of Hwy 10, according to Wadena County engineer Ryan Odden.

The county will award bids for CSAH 4 realignment in April with work to follow this summer. In 2016, the county acquired a parcel of land between State Highway 10 and County Highway 4 and revised a project scope to reflect a realignment which would move the junction of the county highway and the state highway east of its present location at Second Street NE.

"I think everybody will appreciate the project," Odden said. "The intersection at John's Car Care is difficult to navigate. I think the traveling public will appreciate it."

Most of the Hwy 10 work will not take place until 2019.

Matt Indihar, MnDOT construction project manager for this construction said work of demolition has been slowed slightly due to regulated materials in several of the buildings, including asbestos. There was also a well head that was not previously identified that needed to be capped, Indihar said.

He also noted that there will be several other structures that will have to be removed prior to reconstruction of Hwy.10 in 2019. He did not have a list of those properties available and said MnDOT is still working to acquire those buildings.