Nine sections of Alexandria streets should provide smoother drives later this year.

At its meeting Monday night, the Alexandria City Council agreed to call for bids for the 2021 local street improvement projects.

The streets that are scheduled to receive overlays include:

  • Lakeview Avenue, Nokomis to Kenwood Street.

  • City Park Road, Nokomis to the south end.

  • Natures Trail, Birch Avenue to the west end.

  • Birch Avenue, Natures Trail to Geneva Road.

  • Kenwood Street, 3rd Avenue to 5th Avenue.

  • Jefferson Street, 6th Avenue to 8th Avenue.

  • Irving Street, 3rd Avenue to 4th Avenue.

  • City Park parking lot.

  • 14th Avenue, Hawthorne to Irving.

The overlays are important because they prevent roads from getting in really bad shape, which would be much more expensive to repair, according to City Engineer Tim Schoonhoven. He said the savings can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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Schoonhoven told the council the local street improvements are “the least exciting but most important actions we do.”

Bids will be opened on Thursday, Feb. 11.

The total budget for all the projects is $324,000.

The city doesn't just pick which projects to do out of a hat. There is a plan, noted Mayor Bobbie Osterberg.

Schoonhoven said that every street is assigned a rating number based on GPS and by driving on the roads.

Council member Bill Franzen asked if the city could make a list available to the public that would show which projects are coming up in future years. Schoonhoven said that would be a good idea and he would prepare a report.

As in past years, all streets will be bid as separate bid schedules and the total number of projects will be adjusted to meet the available budget.

The projects are included in the capital improvement budget with $254,000 coming from municipal state aid maintenance funds and $70,000 coming from the street program paving levy.

In another street-related action, the council voted to call for bids for a storm sewer project on South L’Homme Dieu Drive, a plan that's been in the works since 2014. The city hasn't been able to do it because of the expense of getting easements on properties, Schoohoven said.

That changed when a major townhouse development, Lake L'Homme Dieu Shores, took place in the area and provided the easements.

The storm sewer project will construct about 420 feet of 36-inch diameter storm sewer within a public drainage easement between South L’Homme Dieu Drive and Lake L’Homme Dieu.

The project is expected to stop storm water from flooding over the street even during minor storms and stop flooding lots between a wetland and Red Oak Drive.

The cost of the project is estimated at $213,600.

Bids will be opened Feb. 11.