East Bethel may reconstruct Jackson Street in 2012

by Eric Hagen
Staff Writer

Jackson Street is a significant north-south route in East Bethel for those wishing to avoid Highway 65. The road is deteriorating, so it has been a city goal for a few years to reconstruct it.

The East Bethel City Council asked City Engineer Craig Jochum to begin the preparation of plans and specifications for the improvement of Jackson Street from 181st Avenue to Jackson Street. File photo by Eric Hagen

That work may be coming this year, assuming the council approves a construction bid later this year.

The segment of Jackson Street between 181st Avenue and Viking Boulevard had a vehicle per day count of 1,180 when a traffic study was last conducted in 2007, according to City Administrator Jack Davis.

Councilmember Steve Voss said previous city councils postponed the road reconstruction because of the potential of city sewer and water pipes going under this road. The city did not want to reconstruct the road only to tear it up a few years later.

The sewer and water pipes’ timing and location issues are still unknown, but the council will gain more information at its next council meeting Jan. 18. Davis asked the council Jan. 4 to formally request City Engineer Craig Jochum to begin preparing the plans for road reconstruction. The council will see various scenarios and cost estimates from Jochum Jan. 18 that will give it a better grasp on how to deal with the utilities question.

Davis said staff will make a presentation as to whether utilities are warranted on Jackson Street or not. He said there is only one section of Jackson Street that has enough density for city sewer and water and that is between 189th Avenue and Viking Boulevard. There is really only one developable parcel south of 189th Avenue, so Davis said it would not make any sense to put sewer and water service down that far.

If the council proceeds with the project, the next steps would be finalizing the plans, advertising for bids, awarding a contract and getting the project done.

Jochum would be the lead engineer for the project from the design phase and to the end of construction. The council Jan. 4 unanimously approved an amount not to exceed $130,255 for Hakanson Anderson, which is the engineering firm for which Jochum works.

Work will include project design, surveying and staking, plans and specifications, advertising and bidding, bid evaluation, construction administration, full-time construction inspection contractor payment verification, project close out, preparation of state aid documents, draw requests, obtaining quotes for sub-contractor services, as built drawings, coordination with the county and facilitating rights of way acquisition.

According to Davis, he and Jochum have already considered a couple of different scenarios that will be explored.

Instead of putting the utility pipes beneath the street, Davis said it may be possible to bring the pipes from Viking Boulevard and through the Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church site and stick within the city’s right of way in order to service the Jackson Street area.

“There are some options. We just want to analyze those and give them to you as part of the cost process for this,” Davis told the council during its Jan. 4 meeting.

In response to Voss asking if this road project could be bumped back another year, Davis said that this project should happen soon. If he had to rate the road on a scale of one to 10, he would give it a four.

“We postponed this for four years,” Davis said. “Jackson is our second major north-south street in the city.”

“There’s nothing to say it couldn’t be put off another year. It’d be best to try to get it done as quickly as possible.”

Voss asked if it would be possible to only reconstruct Jackson Street from 181st to 189th avenues where city sewer and water is less likely. He was concerned about rushing the discussion on utilities.

Davis said that could be considered. Another potential project nearby is to build a road that would connect Jackson Street to Highway 65 via an extension of 189th Avenue to 187th Lane, he said. Sandy Drive could also be seal coated in 2012.

Another project is the extension of Johnson Street to 221st Avenue, west of Highway 65. The segment of Johnson Street being extended already connects with Sims Road.

Davis confirmed with the Anoka County Union that the city has been awarded the $702,000 grant it applied for from the Minnesota Department of Transportation to construct this service road. The council must approve the acceptance of the grant for it to become official.

Davis said the council would be provided many options and cost analysis to determine what the city could afford to do in 2012. Staff will propose a priority list to the council at the Jan. 18 meeting.

Eric Hagen is at [email protected]