UPDATE: Big project on Broadway moves aheadIf 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 approved a $708,812 engineering agreement with Widseth, Smith and Nolting for the project, estimated to cost just under $4.5 million.
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, The reconstructed road would have the same number of lanes, five – two southbound, two northbound and a center turning lane. The lanes would be slightly narrower, going from between 12 and 13 feet wide to 11 feet – the same width as the lanes on 3rd Avenue.
The project also includes replacing three traffic signals, water and sewer services, valves, fire hydrants, manholes, pavement repair, lighting, striping and turf restoration.
The work is a cooperative effort involving the city, the Minnesota Department of Trans-portation (MnDOT), Alexandria Light and Power and Alexandria Lakes Area Sanitary District.
“We recognize the city’s desire to accommodate other modes of transportation in their downtown area,” said MnDOT Project Manager Les Bjerketvedt in a letter to the city.
With Monday’s council action, the overall design work will begin immediately. Construction on the side streets will be completed in 2013.
This includes work on 4th Avenue, from Fillmore to Hawthorne; 5th Avenue, from Fillmore to Hawthorne; 6th Avenue, from Fillmore to Hawthorne; 7th Avenue, from Fillmore to Broadway; and 8th Avenue, from Boradway to Hawthorne.
Work on Broadway would be completed during the 2014 construction season.