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Published July 19, 2012, 07:56 PM

2nd Phase of Oslo Levee Project Starts

OSLO, MN (WDAZ-TV) - The town of Oslo is kicking off the second phase of an $11 million project. The town will be bustling with truck traffic as more than a half mile of the city's levee will be rebuilt.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

OSLO, MN (WDAZ-TV) - The town of Oslo is kicking off the second phase of an $11 million project.

The town will be bustling with truck traffic as more than a half mile of the city's levee will be rebuilt.

$3.7 million for the project was approved by lawmakers this spring and just became available this month.

Kitty Stomberg owns Kitty's cafe in Oslo. She can usually tell when something is going on in town by the number of meals she is cooking.

"Anytime you have more strangers in town you have better business. So we look forward to it," Stromberg said.

What Stromberg is looking forward to is the continued construction of the flood project that gets underway in the next couple of weeks.

"We will still be an island during the flood, but with the new levee improvements it's just going to make it a little better and safer for everyone," Oslo mayor Scott Kosmatka said.

Gowen Construction of Oslo, which won the bid for the project, will start to remove the bought-out houses where a new clay dike will go on the west edge of town. It's the second of three phases.

The city hopes to wrap up the construction project next year, in phase three, which will include raising existing dikes which circle the city one to three feet.

"As you know, the river backs up and surrounds us so we need to have a levy all the way around town," Kosmatka said.

The entire project is required to become re-certified by FEMA and keep the town out of the 100-year flood plain. And while it might be a little messy with all the trucks hauling in the clay, it's traffic that is welcome here.

"With the construction there will be a lot more bodies in town. It will help out the local cenex the cafe," Kosmatka said.

"We do expect to be busy. We haven't heard a whole lot about it, but they said a whole lot of people will be coming into town," Stromberg said.

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