Photo by Chad Koenen
Construction crews laid bitmunious pavement on a portion of 2nd St. in downtown Henning last summer. Concerns have been raised by the city’s engineer about whether the product used met the bid specifications.

By Chad Koenen


Henning’s expansive 2nd St. project could receive more than its final level of bituminous next summer. 

During its regularly scheduled meeting last Monday night, the Henning City Council learned that tests taken of the bituminous used on the 2nd St. project did not reportedly meet the minimum requirements laid out in the bid specifications for the project.

When the bituminous is laid down during the construction process, a secondary company called Braun will actually test the material being used to make sure it meets all of the minimum specifications detailed in the bid packet. 

“Once we actually had Braun take a sample and test the material that was placed, it is apparent the material that was placed was not in accordance with the specifications,” said Schliemann.

Schliemann said Apex Engineering informed the general contractor that the bituminous sample taken during the construction process did not meet the minimum requirements and may have to be removed at the expense of the contractor. Schliemann said the letter was written in late November or December and he wanted to let the council know about the bituminous test. 

When asked by Henning Mayor Darren Wiese if the city held enough money back to ensure the work would be done properly, Schliemann said the city held about $70,000 in a retainer.

In addition to the road not meeting the design specifications, Schliemann said there is a rolled gasket in the newly installed sanitary sewer on 2nd St., just north of Douglas Ave. The rolled gasket was discovered during televising. 

Schliemann said the contractor has proposed to address the issue by installing a stainless steel rehab sleeve to fix the problem. The city’s engineer had several concerns with moving forward with the stainless steel sleeve, for instance the pipe is in the water table and the potential cost of replacing the pipe down the road. Schliemann said it is not known how long a PVC pipe will last, but many people estimate it could last well over 100 years. 

Another concern Schliemann had was the contractor will want to dig down in as small of an area as possible to fix the pipe, which could lead to a potential issue of compaction in the area. The council could request to not put the final layer of bituminous in that area until the following year to get through another freeze, thaw cycle and allow for more compaction.

Councilmen Scott Hart and Wes Johnson both expressed a desire to have the pipe replaced since it was a new product. 

In addition to 2nd St., the council approved competing a Facilities Plan in regard to the city’s wastewater collection and water distribution systems. The plan is necessary for the city to receive funding from the Minnesota Public Facilities Authority. 

The cost of the study would not exceed $12,000, but would allow the city to be eligible for up to $680 million in potential  federal infrastructure funding beginning in 2023. The funding could help the city replace some of the old sanitary sewer pipes and water main. 

“A lot of communities have reached out to us and said how can we get some of this money” said Schliemann.

After the city completes the study it will have several projects identified that could be available for potential funding should it become available down the road. 

The council approved moving forward with the facilities plan in order to get ready for potential funding beginning in 2023. 

In other news

• Heard that Henning will be hosting an EMT class beginning in February. The council also approved a maintenance agreement for the power load and cots. Councilwoman Tammy Fosse, who previously served on the ambulance service, said it was important to make sure the equipment is in proper working order and maintained.

• Heard that Willow Creek currently has 23 residents with 16 residents on full service, two on homemaking services and meal plans, while five others are independent residents. 

• Approved on a 3-1 vote, with Fosse in dissent, the 2022 budgets. Of the city’s main enterprise funds, the budgets for the water fund and Willow Creek are projected at losses. Meanwhile the sewer fund is projected to show a slight profit after years of losses and the electric and natural gas funds are projected to show a profit once again. As part of the motion, the council approved eliminating the part-time city office staff position effective Feb. 1.