Five miles of Coon Rapids streets to be upgraded

by Peter Bodley
Managing Editor

The city of Coon Rapids plans to reconstruct five miles of residential streets this year.

The Coon Rapids City Council has ordered a feasibility report and preparation of plans for the project.

Plans are to do the work under one contract, according to City Engineer Doug Vierzba.

The timetable proposes a construction start at the end of May with completion by the end of September, Vierzba said.

Three areas generally in the south-central of the city are planned for street reconstruction, he said.

• General area north of Coon Rapids Boulevard, northwest of Egret Boulevard and either side of Robinson Drive.

• Near the Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park entrance on Egret Boulevard.

• South end of the city, south of 85th Avenue and east of East River Road.

The streets proposed for reconstruction this year are between 18 and 37 years old, according to Vierzba.

“It is proposed to replace curb that needs replacing and repave the street surfacing,” Vierzba said.

As part of the project, boulevard tree trimming will take place this winter on the roads scheduled for reconstruction, he said.

“The project will also include replacement of old style fire hydrants and street sign replacement,” Vierzba said.

Under the city’s policy, about 50 percent of the project cost will be assessed to benefiting property owners.

“That percentage can vary from year to year depending on actual costs and assessable parcels,” Vierzba said.

The balance will come from the city’s street reconstruction account in the general fund as well as the utility fund and storm sewer utility fund, according to Vierzba.

The recommended single-family residential rate is $1,575 per lot this year, up from $1,560 per lot in 2011, Vierzba said.

Assessment amounts and estimated project costs will be part of the feasibility report that will be presented to the council, prior to a public hearing being called for benefiting property owners.

Information meetings for affected residents will take place before the formal public hearing.

According to Vierzba, all residents who will be impacted by the project have been notified by letter of the proposal.

“No objections have been made by residents to date,” Vierzba said.

The city began its annual street reconstruction program in 1997 to “keep the city’s streets in an acceptable condition,” he said.

Each year the city upgrades roads in need of repair, Vierzba said.

According to Mayor Tim Howe, unlike some cities, Coon Rapids has maintained its ongoing street reconstruction program, despite tough budget conditions, while other communities have put their work on hold.

Putting off the project only makes it more expensive, Howe said.

“We have not wavered and I think that’s a good policy,” he said.

“That way we keep things up to date.”

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]