Big project on Broadway moves ahead at Alexandria City Council meetingIf you think driving on Alexandria’s Broadway is hectic right now, wait a couple of years. A major reconstruction project of Broadway from 3rd to 8th Avenue is planned for 2014.
By: Al Edenloff, Alexandria Echo Press
If you think driving on Alexandria’s Broadway is hectic right now, wait a couple of years.
A major reconstruction project of Broadway from 3rd to 8th Avenue is planned for 2014.
But there’s a bright side: When the project is finished, the street should be safer, smoother, more bicycle and pedestrian friendly and more attractive as well.
At its meeting Monday night, the Alexandria City Council unanimously approved a $708,812 engineering agreement with Widseth, Smith and Nolting for the project, estimated to cost about $4.8 million. That’s up about 10 percent from the estimate made last winter. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) adjusted the numbers to account for inflation.
The project would add a bike lane on the west side of Broadway, create shorter and safer pedestrian crosswalks, replace aging underground utility lines and add “streetscape” touches, such as kiosks, benches, signs, trees and landscaping. The final design of the streetscape elements will be based on public input.
The reconstructed road would have the same number of lanes, five – two southbound, two northbound and a center turning lane. The lanes will be slightly narrower, going from between 12 and 13 feet wide to 11 feet – the same width as the lanes on 3rd Avenue.
Keep checking the website for more detailed council news, including a heated discussion that flared up when council member Virgil Batesole questioned how "responsible" the city's budget committee would be because it includes a mayor who is not seeking re-election and a council member he described as a "lame duck."
Another big item on the agenda was whether the city should help fund a study that would determine the benefits of building an event center in Alexandria, possibly through expanding the Runestone Community Center.
Other council topics included approving a city audit, decertifying a tax increment financing district for Cabinets by Carter, calling for bids on an electrical distribution systems upgrade, calling for bids on improving two city parking lots on the east side of the downtown area, restriping 2nd Avenue to improve parking, restricting parking along Jefferson Street by Washington Square and extending the city’s franchise agreement with Charter Communications.