area briefs

CONSTRUCTION UPDATE: SE MAIN|20 ST|21 ST UNDERPASS PROJECT

As of June 6, 2022, the project is approximately 90 percent complete. 

Both the BNSF and OTVR railroad tracks are completed and operational.

Approximately 89% of excavation has been completed (234,000 cubic yards).

Approximately 95,000 feet of structural support piling installed (about 2,800 feet remaining).

Upcoming Milestones:

Finish storm sewer installation (early June)

Complete remaining piling (early June)

Finish retaining walls (end of June)

Concrete paving, curb & gutter, medians and sidewalks (early June through early July)

Complete underpass and open to traffic (anticipated mid-July)

Complete BNSF wye track and close 1 Ave S to through traffic (late July through end of August)

14TH STREET WATERMAIN REPLACEMENT PROJECT STREET CLOSURE

MOORHESD – Starting Wednesday, June 8, 14th Street from 12th Avenue to 9th Avenue South in Moorhead will be closed for a watermain replacement project at the intersection of 14th Street and 10th Avenue South. This closure is anticipated to last 10 days, weather permitting.

Motorists should follow the detour route or determine an alternate route during this street closure.

STATE ROLLS OUT DASHBOARD SHOWING PFAS MONITORING RESULTS FOR DRINKING WATER

Minnesota residents who get their drinking water from a community public water system will now be able to find out if their system’s water has any level of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), through an interactive online dashboard unveiled this week by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).

According to the results of statewide testing reflected in the new dashboard, the vast majority of community water systems in the state have either no detections of PFAS or levels that are below the current state levels of health concern. Health officials say the statewide testing and dashboard will provide a baseline of information to help communities manage any changes in PFAS occurrence or health risk understanding in the future.

MDH began a project in 2021 to test for PFAS in community water systems across the state. The dashboard represents the current status of that project. Testing and monitoring will be ongoing through 2022. Minnesota joins other states, such as Michigan, Ohio and Illinois, that have tested drinking water statewide for PFAS. MDH is prioritizing sampling in systems that are most vulnerable to PFAS contamination to address the highest potential public health risks first.

“With this new tool, Minnesotans will be able to see for themselves whether PFAS is a concern for the health of their communities and their families,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm. “Our statewide testing and dashboard are just two examples of how Minnesota continues to be a national leader in providing safe drinking water.”

PFAS are extremely stable and do not break down in the environment. Higher levels of exposure to PFAS are associated with a wide range of human health effects. These include higher cholesterol, changes to liver function, reduced immune response, thyroid disease and, in the case of PFOA, increased risk of kidney and testicular cancer.

“Some PFAS are commonly found at low levels in drinking water, but it’s rare to find elevated PFAS in drinking water outside of communities with known contamination sites,” said Jane de Lambert, MDH environmental research scientist. 

For more information: https://www.pca.state.mn.us/waste/minnesotas-pfas-blueprint.

MSUM’S COLLEGE FOR KIDS & TEENS RECEIVES $5000 LAKE REGION ARTS COUNCIL GRANT

MOORHEAD – Minnesota State University Moorhead’s College for Kids & Teens received a $5,000 grant from the Lake Region Arts Council (LRAC) to provide need-based scholarships to area youth who are interested in taking summer courses in the arts. College for Kids & Teens is a summer day camp program for kids ages 8 to 18.

“Support from the LRAC has been crucial to support our scholarship program over the years. With their support, we are able to increase access and reduce financial barriers to help close the equity gap in our area,” said Sean Brandenburg, MSUM youth outreach coordinator. “To date, we’ve positively impacted 72 students and hope to reach additional children in the area throughout the summer.”

MOORHEAD PUBLIC LIBRARY TO HOST MUSIC PROGRAM FOR YOUTH 

MOORHEAD – Lake Agassiz Regional Library invites children and their families to visit the library for an interactive music and storytelling experience, offered free-of-charge and ideal for young children and their families! “Music with Siama and Dallas” will be held Saturday, June 25 at 2:00 p.m. at the Moorhead Public Library, 118 5th St. S.

In Africa, Siama made his name recording hundreds of soukous hits. Now he and Dallas bring feel-good music to kids across Minnesota. Siama takes audiences on a musical journey to Africa with his intricate guitar, catchy songs, spirited vocals, and traditional African instruments like Balafon, Mbira, and Lokole while Dallas Johnson encourages everyone to sing along. 

FREE ENTRANCE TO ALL MINNESOTA STATE PARKS SATURDAY

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is offering free admission to all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas Saturday, June 11. This “Free Park Day” is one of four days each year on which the DNR waives the requirement for a vehicle permit to enter state parks and recreation areas. The entrance fee waiver does not cover activities like camping, rentals or tours.

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