Green light for county paving project

A repaving project for the west service road at the Anoka County Highway Department facility on Bunker Lake Boulevard in Andover has been given the green light by the Anoka County Board.

On the recommendation of County Commissioner Andy Westerberg, chairman of the board’s Public Works Committee, the board approved an agreement with North Valley Inc. to do the work at a cost of $83,519.80.

The service road not only serves the highway department facility, on which an extensive construction and remodeling project is nearing completion, but also the old sheriff’s patrol station and parks and radio buildings, according to Doug Fischer, county highway engineer.

Work began on the project last week and is expected to be completed in two to three weeks, Fischer said.

Originally the project was to remove and reconstruct half the service road and overlay the other half, he said.

But when a quote came in at $90,215.50, the Public Works Committee at its April 15 meeting directed Fischer to go out for additional quotes.

The project scope was also changed to reclaim and overlay the entire roadway, Fischer said.

That produced a quote from North Valley Inc. that was $7,000 less than the original quote and the county has got a better product, according to Westerberg.

In addition to the repaving the service road is being realigned to eliminate a “kink” and to move it farther away from a propane tank on the property, Fischer said.

“The result is a better, longer lasting service road,” he said.

“Parts of the old road were pretty beat up.”

“The repaved service road and realignment will better fit the needs of the new highway facility.”

The cost of the project will come from the highway department budget, according to Fischer.

The $12 million highway facility construction is ahead of schedule and under budget, Fischer said.

The mild winter with the lack of snow helped in both cases, he said.

Right now, Fischer is estimating that the project will be under budget by $200,000 to $300,000 and instead of an August/September completion, he is anticipating moving into the new facility in the May/June time period.

The highway department expansion and renovation project stems from a master plan, which was prepared for the county, that spelled out what was needed to deal with the department’s immediate space, facility and operational needs and recommended facility expansion and renovations.

The project includes a new fleet services building, remodeled administrative area, remodeled signs and signals areas, a new loading dock, a complete facility sprinkler addition, bathroom code upgrades and conversion of the old sheriff’s patrol station building for use as “swing space” for highway use and ultimate configuration for use by others, according to Fischer.

The original maintenance garage was built in 1978 and the current building layout was constructed in 1987, but since then, the highway department’s needs have grown and the personnel, equipment and storage areas required to address these needs have grown as well, Fischer said.

Funding for the project has come from the sale of capital improvement bonds.

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]