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La Crosse will let cathedral repair crew keep 6th Street closed a little longer

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Repairs are being done on Sept. 13, 2021, to the outside of St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral on Sixth Street in La Crosse.

Repairs to the outside of St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral are taking longer than expected.

The La Crosse board of public works Monday approved an extension of a street closing permit next to the church.

That could keep one block of 6th Street closed to traffic into November, except for one instance.

The vote taken by the board would allow the city to open 6th Street for a few days during Oktoberfest, and provide extra security around the construction site.

The Building Restoration Corporation (BRC) of Minnesota, which is repairing the cathedral, said weather and shortages of workers and materials have led to delays in replacement of large stones on the outside walls.

Vice President Gary Halonen from BRC told the board that replacing decaying stones on the outside walls of the cathedral has been a tougher job than they expected.

“We removed all of the stone from the spire … I’d say, half of the stone we had to replace,” Halonen said. “We didn’t know that going into the project.”

He added that work on the spire took about a month longer than planned.

Halonen said the large crane used for lifting those heavy stones will have to stay in place a few more weeks, leading to the continued closing of 6th Street at Main.

The company, and the Diocese of La Crosse, do not want to stop the project for winter and resume next year.

May of 2022 will mark 60 years since the dedication of the current cathedral.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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