Another Main Street road closure in Coon Rapids

Another segment of Main Street (County Road 14) in Coon Rapids will be shut down to traffic, starting Friday, March 16 as part of the construction project.

Traffic detour while Main Street is under construction. The segment from Foley Boulevard east to University Avenue east to University Avenue will be shut down to traffic starting March 16, while Main Street from Avocet Street to Foley will continue to be closed. Map: Anoka County Highway Department

Traffic detour while Main Street is under construction. The segment from Foley Boulevard east to University Avenue will be shut down to traffic starting March 16, while Main Street from Avocet Street to Foley will continue to be closed. Map: Anoka County Highway Department

Main Street from Foley Boulevard to University Avenue will be closed until early August.

That will mean that no traffic will be allowed on Main Street from Avocet Street to University Avenue in Coon Rapids.

The segment from Avocet to Foley was closed to traffic last fall for the overpass to be built over the Burlington-Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railroad crossing and will remain shut down until early August.

With the new road closure east of Foley, the existing signals will be removed and replaced with stop signs as needed to allow for construction equipment traffic to get through the intersection, according to a press release from the Anoka County Highway Department.

North-south traffic through the Foley Boulevard intersection, by which people can access the city of Coon Rapids’ Bunker Hills Golf Course, the Harvest Grill Restaurant and the county’s Bunker Hills Regional Park, will be allowed at all times during the road closures either side on Main Street.

Flintwood Street will also be closed to traffic at Main Street, but residents on the north side of Main Street in that area will have access to University Avenue across from Blaine High School.

The University Avenue-Main Street/125th Avenue N.E. intersection is also open, except the west leg, the county highway department states in the press release.

The contract with C.S. McCrossan, the contractor on the project, calls for the project to be “substantially complete” by Aug. 2, according to Doug Fischer, county highway engineer.

That has not changed even though contractor got a later start on the project than planned last fall, Fischer said.

“Substantial completion” means that Main Street from Avocet to Ulysses will be open to traffic, even though construction will still be taking place, he said.

“There may still be some road closures, but motorists will be able drive on Main Street from Highway 65 to Highway 10,” Fischer said.

The mild winter and lack of snow has enabled the contractor to continue working on the bridge over the railroad crossing throughout the winter months when that would not have been possible a year ago, he said.

“The contractor has not been able to get caught up completely, but the mild winter has been helpful and so has the early start this spring,” Fischer said.

The segment of Main Street/125th Avenue N.E. from Ulysses Street to University Avenue will continue to be open to traffic as it was over the winter months.

Right now it is one lane in each direction on the north side of Main Street while construction takes place on the south side of the road, Fischer said.

Once the south side it completed, the road closure will flip-flop to the north side so construction can take place there and the southbound lanes will be open, he said.

As is the case at University Avenue, the Jefferson Street intersection will stay open to traffic.

And the segment from Crane to Avocet streets in Coon Rapids, which was shut down to traffic for a period last fall but reopened for the winter, will stay open for the rest of the project, according to Kate Garwood, county multimodal transportation manager.

The local detour route in Coon Rapids has not changed, Garwood said.

It is Hanson Boulevard to Northdale Boulevard to University Avenue, she said.

The Main Street/125th Avenue design-build reconstruction project covers three and one half miles and is the first design-build project to be undertaken by a county in the state, although the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has used the process for a number of its projects.

Design-build differs from the traditional process where bidding on a project construction contract comes after detailed plans and specifications prepared by a design engineer have been approved by the government agency.

In this case, the county spelled out the parameters of the project on which a design-build team comprising a contractor and an engineering firm submitted their bids.

The county board awarded a $35,308,000 contract to McCrossan and SRF in May 2011.

But when right of way acquisition, preliminary design and project oversight services are factored in the total project cost is more than $40 million, Fischer said.

The bulk of the cost is being paid for from state turnback dollars, which became available when the county assumed jurisdiction over what was then State Highway 242 some years ago.

Both the cities of Blaine and Coon Rapids are making financial contributions to the project – Blaine $380,000 and Coon Rapids $268,000 – for work such as traffic signals and trails.

The road is being expanded to four lanes, with a median down the middle, along with protected right- and left-turn lanes. Bike and pedestrian trails will also be constructed.

For more information, visit the Anoka County Highway Department’s project page at www.anokacounty.us/csah14designbuild or call the project information line at 1-877-254-3997 or e-mail countyroad14@co.anoka.mn.us.

Peter Bodley is at
peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com


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