Construction Begins in Earnest

There is much activity on the south end of Historic Downtown Alexandria at 8th Street and Broadway.

Construction on Veterans Memorial Park is changing the face of the landscape there. The storm sewer upgrade is complete on 8th Street.  Earth has been moved, piles have been screwed into the ground to support the massive weight of the planned structures.  Stakes have been placed to mark locations of the various “rooms” in the park making it easier to understand the layout of the park.

Pictured below are images of the recent progress.


The City of Alexandria upgraded the storm sewer on 8th Street to help alleviate flooding in that area.  Here you see a support structure in place to ensure worker safety.

This view is inside the park and shows where the footings will be poured for the curved Donor Wall. The stakes indicate the location where the helical piles will be placed.

The footprint of construction -  tracks left behind from an excavator.


Construction crew members work around the concrete structures for the storm sewer.

Widseth Smith Nolting Architect, Greg Bohl, checks to be sure the footings will be at the proper location.

The location of Veterans Memorial Park was a slough at the edge of town in the early days and the lowest spot of the city – the same level as Lake Winona.  As evidenced by the trash that was found when digging, it was also a city dump.


The old has to come down before the new can go up.

This is a helical pile.  Each pile is 10 feet long and they are screwed into the ground to support the massive surface weight of structures in the park.

A pile of piles. These helical piles are placed one on top of another, as needed, to reach the depths of 15 to 60 feet into the earth based on the quality of the soil at different locations within the park.


This machine acts as a giant screwdriver using the torque mechanism to screw the piles down into the ground.

These helical piles have been turned into the ground to the proper depth.  The caps will be embedded in the footings of the structures.

Stakes are used as markers throughout the park.  The one in the foreground marks a position for the concrete star.  The three piles in the background indicate where the Liberty Bell will be located at the center of the park.


The construction document is checked for proper placement of footings for the star.

Architect Greg Bohl looks at markers for placement of the concrete star and also the markers that show where the granite monoliths will be placed between the trees.

A dozer sits on 8th Street after the storm sewer upgrade has been ccompleted.


We are still taking names of veterans to add to one of the 30 granite monoliths, but deadlines are approaching.

The first deadline to submit names  is September 30, 2019.  Names of veterans from the Early War Era and the Global War Era are due then.  The span of years for those veterans is 1861 to 1946.  Other category deadlines will be closing soon after that. To submit a veteran’s name to be included, please click here.

The Park still needs your financial support.

We are close to reaching our initial goal, but donations are still needed.  We welcome donations of any size.  Those giving in excess of $5,000 will be listed on the Wall of Honor as Star Donors.  Learn more and make your donation here: