Alexandria pursues overlay work on Nokomis, RosewoodEven though a government shutdown has stopped state highway construction in its tracks, Alexandria is going ahead with two street overlay projects totaling $675,000.
By: Al Edenloff, Alexandria Echo Press
Even though a government shutdown has stopped state highway construction in its tracks, Alexandria is going ahead with two street overlay projects totaling $675,000.
One project is to overlay Nokomis Street, which also doubles as State Highway 29 North, from 3rd to 6th Avenue.
The Alexandria City Council agreed to call for bids on the project at its meeting Monday night. The project, estimated to cost $230,000, will be funded through municipal state aid funds at no cost to the city, according to City Engineer Tim Schoonhoven.
The work was expected to coincide with a restriping project planned by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) that’s now in limbo because of the shutdown.
MnDOT’s project is set to begin 300 feet north of Highway 29’s intersection with Highway 27 – a busy corner that includes Burger King and Tiremaxx.
It would continue north, past the “Y” split with County Road 42, to about a quarter-mile beyond the intersection with McKay Avenue.
Right now, that segment of Highway 29 has three lanes – a northbound lane, a southbound lane and a center turning lane.
The new layout will create an additional northbound lane that should end the problem of vehicles trying to merge into one lane after turning left onto Highway 29 or Nokomis Street from 3rd Avenue East.
The road won’t be physically widened, however. MnDOT planned to just re-stripe the existing roadway.
In an effort to obtain more favorable bids, the council decided to combine another project with the Nokomis work – overlaying Rosewood Lane.
That part of the project is expected to cost $346,000 and would come out of the city’s capital improvement fund. The city has about $2 million in the fund right now.
Schoonhoven said that although the Rosewood overlay project is a significant expense, he recommended the city pursue the project this year, as originally budgeted. He said if the city waited, the road could deteriorate beyond repair.
The city plans to award the bid for the overlays on August 22. If the state shutdown is still going on, Schoonhoven said language could be added to the contract saying the Nokomis work would begin pending state approval.
Work on both projects wouldn’t start until after Labor Day.
Besides the overlay projects, the council tackled a few other items at Monday’s meeting. It learned the status of its application for a sculpture in Big Ole Central Park; approved an upcoming 5K/10K run that will help animals; approved a youth basketball tournament at Legion Park; allowed an “encroachment permit” for a store on Broadway; and approved an engineering agreement for improvements on Thomas Drive. See Friday’s Echo Press for more details.