88-year-old thanks road workers with 10 pizzas

Jamie Hult, Staff writer
Clara Blackburn delivers pizzas to road construction workers replacing infrastructure and the road, Sylvan Circle, on Friday. “I just wanted to express my thanks,” she said. Submitted photo.

An 88-year-old Brandon resident showed her appreciation for the construction workers on her street last Friday by treating them to 10 pizzas at lunchtime.
Clara Blackburn is one of about 30 Sylvan Circle area residents whose driveways and lawns have been blocked by workers and machines this summer on the final phase of sewer and storm sewer improvements in that area and reconstruction of the roadway.
“I’ve never had to work with road construction workers before, but these guys are just extra special,” Blackburn said.
After two months in the neighborhood, the crew from Soukup Construction and Blackburn are on a daily waving basis.  
Not only has the crew gone out of their way to move equipment so Blackburn can go to water aerobics three days a week, but they also covered the pipe across her drive so she can back her car in and out.
“I’m 88, and for me not to have to worry about going to the doctor is outstanding,” she said. “I jokingly told them that they were treating me like Queen Elizabeth.”
Blackburn dropped into the local Pizza Ranch Friday and selected a variety of pies and dessert pizzas, which she hand-delivered to the workers, along with an ice chest full of sodas.
“Most, generally, are having to park their cars and walk a block and a half,” she said. “I just wanted to express my thanks.”
The street reconstruction is ongoing on parts of Sylvan, Pipestone Street, Teton Drive and Rushmore Drive. 
Workers are removing part of Rushmore this week to finish the remainder of the utility work, according to city engineer Tami Jansma. 
The project is expected to wrap up in late September.


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