Irvine Avenue

Irvine Avenue

There is that old joke that goes: there are two seasons in Minnesota, Winter and Road Construction. As winter looms in our future, we are currently smack dab in the middle of Road Construction Season.

One of the major roads under construction this summer has been Irvine Avenue NW, between Paul Bunyan Drive and Anne Street. Throughout town there have been many questions surrounding the road closure. “What are they doing?” “How long will it last?” “Why did they have to close the whole road?”. While I (the Office Manager) could try to explain what is going on and what they are actually doing, I will leave that to the experts. With the help of Project Manager, Sam Anderson, hopefully we will answer some of the community’s questions.

So what are they actually doing?  “A large portion of the Irvine Avenue construction is the replacement and upgrading of sanitary, water and storm services.” says Sam, “For the most part, the existing roadway dimensions will be the same from when we started until how we finished.”  Major changes are being made to the avenue; however, cosmetically, there won’t be much of a difference to motorists and pedestrians. The sidewalk that was previously located on the west side of the avenue is being widened to 8 feet from 6 feet to allow for more gradual transitions for driveway entrances that meet ADA requirements.


Irvine Avenue – August 4, 2015 (Photo Courtesy of our Boss’s Drone)

As you have probably noticed, the roadway has been closed for a few weeks now. Access to businesses and homes have been detoured to alternative routes. Those residents located directly adjacent to Irvine Avenue will have updated water and sanitary services, which in most cases replaces outdated materials that have been improved with research since they were originally installed. “Better installation practices and materials also equates to more efficient water and sewer systems in the community and thus reduces the amount of future costs associated with maintenance and operating costs.” Sam explains. “These types of improvements are necessary to help a growing community maintain the quality of life we are accustom to enjoying.”

Karvakko has been providing professional services and resources to act as an extension of the City of Bemidji Engineering Department. KE was tasked to handle the feasibility study/preliminary design, contract administration, design, bidding and construction services. “We act as a team with the City of Bemidji to help handle the desired project from concept to completion the way they would want it done. From day to day, we have an inspector monitoring the procedures and materials being used to complete the project as designed in the plans and specifications.” Sam said.

In the end, roughly 12,000 motorists will benefit from the upgraded roadways on a daily basis by the improved ride-ability, reduced obstructions in motorist wheel paths and improved signage. We are excited and proud to take part in keeping our community’s roads safe for current and future generations.

Keep checking our Karvakko Facebook page, in addition to our Projects tab on our website for daily updates on the construction and other news regarding Irvine Avenue!

-Angela Liedke


Office Manager


Karvakko Engineering and RRA have officially merged into one firm--Karvakko. We’re more than just engineering.