The Anoka County Board has hired a consultant to prepare an environmental project memorandum for a project to reconstruct a portion of Foley Boulevard in Coon Rapids.
On the recommendation of its Public Works Committee, the board July 10 entered into a purchase of service agreement with SEH Inc. in the amount of $69,899 for planning and environmental work on the project from 101st Avenue to Egret Boulevard.
According to Doug Fischer, county highway director, the project memorandum is a CliffNotes version of an environmental assessment worksheet in that it will determine environmental impacts of the project, for example, wetlands, floodplains, contaminated soils and endangered species.
Because the project is small, only .7 of a mile in length, and it is located in a developed, urban area, Fischer said he is not anticipating any environmental impact that would be found that would require the next step – an environmental assessment worksheet (EAW).
The county has received federal funding to pay for most of the upgrade of this section of Foley, which is scheduled for construction in 2014.
The estimated cost of the work is $3 million and the federal grant will contribute $2.4 million, Fischer said.
Right now, this segment of Foley has two lanes in each direction, no medians, access from all residential side streets and carries a high volume of traffic.
“There is so much access and that causes all the crashes,” Fischer said.
The project will involve construction of dedicated left- and right-turn lanes, constructing a center median, reconstructing the existing traffic signals at 101st Avenue and Egret Boulevard, adding shoulders, reconstruction of a sidewalk and construction of a trail.
However, the project won’t add more capacity in the form of additional lanes.
But access from some of the side streets will be eliminated.
According to the preliminary layout map on the county highway department website, there will be full access intersections at 101st Avenue, 102nd Lane, 105th Avenue and at Egret.
But 102nd Avenue will be limited to right-in and right-out, so will 104th Avenue.
And there will be no access to Foley from 104th Lane, 105th Lane and 106th Avenue.
Where the current access to Foley is eliminated, the residential streets will become cul-de-sacs, Fischer said.
There will be a high degree of public involvement as the planning and design process moves forward in the form of public information open houses.
No date has yet been set for the first one, but the county highway department website page on the project indicates the initial open house will be scheduled this summer.
The county is also seeking federal funding to reconstruct Foley from Egret to Northdale boulevards.
The county application for this project has been ranked first in its category in the metro area in the federal funding cycle for 2015-2016 construction, Fischer said.
That project will be more extensive because Foley is currently a single lane in each direction in this segment and the upgrade would be to two lanes in each direction with a median that would limit access from residential streets, he said.
In addition, plans are to reconfigure and straighten out the Foley and Northdale boulevards intersection, he said.
“These projects will make Foley much safer,” Fischer said.
According to Fischer, the project to reconstruct Foley from Highway 10 to Northdale was split into two “because it never did score well” for federal funding as one project.
Foley Boulevard, north of Northdale, is a city collector street.
Peter Bodley is at email@example.com