Final leg of Main Street project gets under way

The final leg of the Main Street (Anoka County State Aid Highway 14) project has gotten under way with construction starting from Foley Boulevard east to University Avenue.

Work began in September 2011 to reconstruct the two-lane section from Crane Street in Coon Rapids east to Ulysses Street in Blaine to four lanes with a raised median, add turn lanes and install new signal lights.

The $35.3 million project also includes curb and gutter as well as a pedestrian trail.

Coon Rapids City Engineer Doug Vierzba talks with Benjamin Dzioba from Braun Intertech about the Main Street project. Photo by Tammy Sakry
Coon Rapids City Engineer Doug Vierzba talks with Benjamin Dzioba from Braun Intertech about the Main Street project. Photo by Tammy Sakry

March 16 the construction project closed Main Street/125th Avenue to all traffic from Foley Boulevard to University Avenue.

The section from Avocet Street to Foley was shut down to traffic last fall and remains closed so that a bridge can be constructed over the Burlington-Northern Santa Fe Railroad track, just east of Avocet.

The intersections at Foley Boulevard and University Avenue remain open to northbound and southbound traffic.

Work on this section, as well as the entire project, is scheduled to be completed in August.

Road work is also resuming at the Main Street intersections at University Avenue and Jefferson Street N.E.

Both intersections will open with one lane in each direction.

During the March 22 open house at The Harvest Grill, most of the 65 residents that came to learn about the project had positive comments.

“I think it’s a good project,” said Cathy Dusbabek, who lives in the Flintwood neighborhood.

It will be a great benefit to the area, especially with the new neighborhoods being constructed, she said.

“We have to keep the traffic moving,” Dusbabek said.

Paul Beer is hoping the new road will be adequate for future traffic needs.

“I hope that it is adequate for all the development that is still to come,” he said.

In the 26 years they have lived in the Foley Boulevard neighborhood, the area has really built up, said Sue Beer.

During that time, the couple have seen eight fatal accidents because the road was inadequate, Paul Beer said.

While they are not happy about all the detours, the couple do like the bridge over the railroad tracks.

“It’s a win-win for everyone,” Paul Beer said.

Other things residents liked are the bike paths and the reduction of the speed from 55 mph to 35 mph during the start and end of the school day by the three schools.

Paula Daszkiewicz, who lives in the 124th Lane neighborhood, is concerned that this portion of the Main Street project will not be getting sound walls, like the Main Street section west of Hanson Boulevard did.

Without the walls there will be a lot of uglier walls going up and any accidents will likely end up in their yards, she told SRF Engineer George Stuempfig.

Noise walls were included in the western Main Street project because that portion received federal funding, which this project does not have, said Andrew Witter, assistant county engineer.

This type of project would normally take five years to do, but it is being done in 18 months, said County Commissioner Andy Westerberg, chairman of the Anoka County Board’s Public Works Committee, of the Main Street project east of Hanson Boulevard, which started last September.

“I’m excited about it. It is an incredible project,” he said.

Tammy Sakry is at tamm[email protected]