Albion Avenue work begins on Monday

FAIRMONT – Transformation of that bumpy, rutted, teeth-rattling strip of Albion Avenue will begin Monday when construction crews start moving in equipment.

“And we’ll detour traffic starting Tuesday,” said Troy Nemmers, Fairmont city engineer.

The strip of road undergoing reconstruction runs south from the intersection of Oak Beach Drive and Albion Avenue to the Lair Road corner.

“The construction will allow southbound traffic throughout the project, and there will be access to businesses at all times,” Nemmers said.

However, northbound traffic will be blocked, with a detour going east on Belle Vue Road, then north on Prairie Avenue to State Street.

Truck traffic will be re-routed down Hall Street to Highway 15.

The construction will cause some change in patterns and habits for motorists who make about 8,000 car trips daily over the street.

The speed limit will decrease from 40 mph to 20 mph along the work zone, Nemmers said.

Also, the Albion/Lair intersection and eastbound traffic on Lair will be closed from Aug. 5-25.

“We’re going to be working on that intersection then,” Nemmers said. “We’ll close it (street) at the Shell gas station driveway (on Lair), but you can still go south even when the intersection is closed.”

The city will open a gravel lot in the southeast corner of the Albion/Lair intersection so those motorists pulling boats or campers will have an accessible place to park if they want to patronize the bait shop, Dairy Freeze, VFW or other business.

Nemmers cautioned motorists pulling boats or campers to access the gas station from the Albion Avenue entry, which would allow them to pull through onto Lair Road. Trying to turn south out of the business will be “near impossible” during construction, similar to attempting a U-turn in a single lane.

“Plan ahead,” Nemmers said.

SMC is the general contractor for the project, estimated to cost $1.96 million.

“November 1 is the scheduled completion date, weather permitting,” Nemmers said.

A construction blog with progress updates is available on the city’s newly revamped website,