Gasoline contamination delays Hwy 3 construction

Hwy 3 construction activity is nearly non-existent this week. But it's not due to the state government shutdown.

I talked with MN DOT employee Anthony Stakston this morning. He said that gasoline-contaminated water was discovered at the site last week (to the north and west of the fire hydrant in the photo - click for a larger view).Testing revealed that it's at a level that'll require it to be treated before it can be dumped into the sanitary water treatment system. MN DOT has contracted with a company to treat the contaminated water.

Stakston said it appears that buildings were once located on the site. Were they gas stations? If you're a longtime Northfielder and can remember what was located on this site, attach a comment to this post or contact me.

And a tip of the blogging hat to Kurt Larson, Larson's Printing, for providing me the lead on this story. His retail business on the West Side on Water St. has been significantly reduced because of the construction.

11 am update: Sue Odette emailed me: "Milford Cannedy had a gas station on this corner for many years and Heyerholm motors was located just to the east of this corner for many years."

Full disclosure: Larson's Printing is a client.

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Apparently, the stretch of HWY 3 between 2nd and St. Olaf is a "underground tank Mecca".

A friend that works for the state did some checking, and told me that there are at least 7 properties in that area between Second and St. Olaf, that have active underground tanks, or formerly had tanks and removed them.

He also states that all seven have reported petroleum contamination to the MPCA at some point.

Additional info, in order of proximity:

NE corner of 2nd and Water (formerly Schultzie's Bikes, before that gas station brand unknown) -- 4 tanks removed in 2003

105 S Water (formerly Exhaust Pros, before that Sinclair station) -- 3 tanks removed in 1997

City maintenance garage -- 1 tank removed in 1990

Quiznos (formerly Camelot Cleaners, before that gas station brand unknown) -- 4 tanks removed in 1993

Holiday -- 4 active tanks

Conoco (formerly Amoco) -- 4 active tanks

Former Tom Thumb -- 3 tanks removed in 1999

Unfortunately, due to "inadequate funding of environmental programs by the Legislature", he cannot further investigate the nature of the contamination, or the status of any cleanups.

I hope this helps!

John Thomas

Holy lotsa tanks!

Thanks for the info, John.