The American Public Works Association presented Washington County with its 2019 project of the year award in historic preservation for small cities and rural communities for its downtown Afton project. The award was presented to the board Oct. 15, and is for the reconstruction of County State Aid Highway 21 in Afton, and surrounding infrastructure. The City of Afton and Washington County partnered to reconstruct infrastructure within the 160-year-old Old Village of Afton. Together, with financial support from the state’s Board of Water and Soil Resources, Department of Natural Resources, Pollution Control Agency, Public Facilities Authority, and the Valley Branch Watershed District, WSB, the engineering consultant, led an eight-year process that assembled the project vision, procured stakeholder funding, and designed the project. The company also did construction administration and coordination with tribal communities to protect the Rattlesnake Effigy Mound. The project revitalized the Old Village of Afton, while protecting its historic properties. The $20 million effort included a new sanitary sewer collection and treatment system, reconstruction of county and local roads, new trails, levee reconstruction, stormwater enhancements, Americans with Disabilities Act improvements, and provided 100-year flood protection for the Old Village of Afton. To get the project done in one year, the contractor had three pipe crews, two grading crews, and multiple subconsultants working on the project simultaneously.
(Photo: L to R: Wayne Sandberg, Cory Slagle, Lisa Weik, Fran Miron, Bill Palmquist, Wayne Johnson, Gary Kriesel, Stan Karwoski, Ronald Moorse, and Don Theisen. Photo courtesy Washington County)