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NEWELL | Despite a summer construction season beset with monsoonal rain, even winter weather, officials are confident a $640,000 project to install new water mains and service lines along downtown streets will be completed in time for the town’s big Labor Day celebration.

“As of right now (Tuesday), we’ve got 90 percent of the pipe in and we’re supposed to start putting new asphalt down at the end of this week,” said project engineer Tim Grosz of Brosz Engineering in Sturgis.

“The plan is to get their streets all asphalted in time for their big Labor Day weekend shindig,” Grosz said.

The project involves replacing nearly 3,000 feet of asbestos water main and new 1-inch service lines for residents and businesses on Newell’s main downtown street, Girard Ave, and 3rd Street in the downtown area of Newell.

“We were running into 40- and 50-year-old pipe,” said Newell city finance officer Jennifer Parrow. “We’ve had some exciting pipe.”

The project, funded by a combination of Community Development Block Grant and city funds, began on May 10, Grosz said, and almost immediately faced delays from one of the wettest years on record, including a major snowstorm on May 22.

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“Then it rained a bunch more after that,” Grosz said.

The consistent wet weather saturated open areas of dirt along streets excavated for the project.

“It’s taken an extra amount of work to get the streets prepped,” Grosz said.

A community development block grant provided $324,370 in project funding with the Town of Newell providing $314, 924, Parrow said.

Newell’s annual Labor Day weekend celebration runs from Friday Sept. 30 through Monday, Sept. 2 and includes a Labor Day parade through downtown, weekend rodeos, street dance, tractor pull, car show, quilt show, games in the city park and a cornhole tournament.

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