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Bad weather doesn't stop Cottage Grove Walmart construction

An early May snowfall and many rainy June days have not hindered site preparation for the Walmart store on East Point Douglas Road. Bulletin photo by Emily Buss1 / 2
Looking south from near Jergen Avenue, the former Cottage View Drive-In site is beginning to show early signs of where the 177,000-square-foot Walmart store will be. Bulletin photo by Scott Wente2 / 2

Despite a rain and snow soaked start to the construction on the 177,000-square-foot Walmart on East Point Douglas Road, work has not stopped and continues to stay on track. “It’s just sand so the wetter the better,” said Tom Stratman, senior superintendent for Weis Builders.

Crews arrived on the former Cottage View Drive-In site in early May, just days after the iconic sign was taken down, and quickly got to work. At the last Cottage Grove City Council meeting Economic Development Director Danette Parr said roughly 90 percent of the ground had been graded. Throughout the month, a building pad was completed and crews started installing footings.

“The building pad is (the outline) where the building will actually go and the footings are what the building will be built on,” said Stratman, who is overseeing the project.

Stratman added that the installation of the footings should be complete by the end of the month and passersby will be able to see signs of an actual building come July 1.

“In a couple weeks you’ll start to see the building as we install wall panels,” he said.

The project is still on track for an early spring 2014 opening. Once completed, the store will include a full grocery section and pharmacy. The supercenter will employ around 300 people.

The retail giant is the anchor for the proposed Shoppes at Cottage View shopping center, which city officials have said has long-term plans of including additional retail and restaurants.