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It's one-way trip around the lake

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The old road that circles Lake Bonney is in the process of getting a face-lift and a direction change. Beginning Nov. 10, the Public Works Department began paving and striping a wide shoulder for lakeside walkers. The entire road will be paved and converted from a two-way street into a one-way, counterclockwise street.

"It's a neat little project that improves the circle around the lake," Bob Leedy, city planning director, said. "It was a maintenance item and an improvement."

The 74th Street East section and a section on 182nd Avenue were completed last week.

"We're going to wait for a day that's a little warmer and not so cold at night," Public Works Director Seth Boettcher said. "There's about two-thirds left to do." He hopes to see the project finished over the next 30 days.

The city decided to pave the old roadbed rather than expand it because of the legal difficulties involved.

"It was just way too disruptive to people living on the lake to expand the road," Boettcher said. "The right-of-way purchases would have blown the budget and the project would have been put off for many more years. After several public meetings the citizens around the lake supported paving and turning it into a one-way street, and it fit our budget."

The project was designed to make the road safer, but maintain its scenic and historic quality. Many of the homes along the lake are among the oldest in the city.

Mayor Bob Young, who lives on the circular roadway, said, "The road is a nice little walk. A little over a mile, but it's been dangerous. I'm sure there will be some inconvenience going one way now. I'm going to have to change the way I go. I'll probably be frustrated at first, but this has been a very substandard road, and it needed to be fixed."

Dennis Box can be reached at dbox@courierherald.com

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