Cemetery road will be part of St. Mary's Street and closed during construction.

The City of Sleepy Eye’s big project to build out 12th Avenue NE across the railroad tracks, all the way north until it meets a new section of St. Mary’s Street, will affect access to Home Cemetery this summer. The current gravel cemetery access road, will become part of St. Mary’s Street, causing it to be closed to all traffic while under construction.

Home Cemetery Grounds Keeper Matt Ibberson said when construction begins, likely in June or July, the cemetery road will be closed and a new cemetery access, from Carroll Street to the alley behind 6th Avenue NE, will be established. Ibberson said the new access road will remain in use even after the new St. Mary’s Street opens and the old cemetery entry is in use again.

Shown in the photo with this article, and obvious to cemetery visitors, a line of red-painted stakes mark the right of way for the new road. The curb will be 12 1/2 feet from the red-painted stakes. Unpainted stakes mark the placement of a sidewalk that will extend all the way to 12th Avenue NE. A sidewalk will also run along 12th Avenue to Highway 14.

“The city wanted to create a walking path with this project,” said Ibberson.

In addition, Ibberson said receptacles for flags will be encased in the new sidewalk for the Avenue of Flags.

The pine trees along the south edge of the cemetery have to be removed for rad construction said Ibberson.

“The Home Cemetery Board will be happy to receive donations to purchase new trees to plant in that area after the construction is done,” said Ibberson.