Anoka sets sights for future street renewal

Over the next six years the city of Anoka will focus on one specific neighborhood in its street renewal program.

This summer the city will refocus its efforts on street renewal in an area south of Main Street and east of Seventh Avenue.
This summer the city will refocus its efforts on street renewal in an area south of Main Street and east of Seventh Avenue.

Projects starting next year will target an area south of Main Street and east of Seventh Avenue.

In 2011 the city did reconstruct Ninth Avenue in this area, but over the last five years it has largely been focused on the southeast corner of the city. The work in this neighborhood near the Mississippi River wrapped up last year, said Public Services Director Greg Lee.

Plans for 2013

In 2013 the city will reconstruct Eighth Avenue from Jefferson Street to Monroe Street, Cross Street from Seventh Avenue to Ninth Avenue and Madison Street, also between Seventh and Ninth.

Last month the Anoka City Council approved the feasibility report for this particular project.

Lee said those streets were chosen because of both the poor condition of the roadways, the deterioration of the utilities and lack of storm sewer lines.

Along with the road, existing sidewalks will also be replaced as well as the sanitary sewer and water mains.

The total cost of the project is estimated at over $1.3 million.

The city will pay for nearly 75 percent of the project. The remaining 25 percent will be assessed to property owners along those streets at a rate of $2,750 per residential unit plus $14 per lineal foot of frontage.

Each property owner will also be assessed $1,900 for the new water and sanitary sewer service that is being installed.

A neighborhood meeting on the project is planned for Dec. 19. A public hearing is scheduled for Jan. 21.

Anoka resident Pat Walker has lived for 25 years in the neighborhood targeted for the next phase of reconstruction.

He thinks the city should extend the amount of work it does each year to shorten the duration of the work in area.

“Transportation out of this neighborhood goes in all different directions,” said Walker. “Right now this looks like to me this neighborhood is going to be screwed up for six years. I thought this should be a two-year project, not a six-year project.”

Lee said funding drives the size of the city projects, which are typically seven-tenths of a mile each year.

“One of the goals of the street renewal project is to make sure it is sustainable,” said Lee.

While the city could do more projects, because of funding it would also have to put the renewal plan on hold some years.

“The thought was if we started skipping years it makes it really easy to start dropping out,” said Lee.

Street renewal in Anoka

Established in 2000, the street renewal program is going into its 14th year.

“We’ve done 11.2 miles which represents 17 percent of the city’s streets,” said Lee.

Four years ago the city also implemented a street resurfacing program targeting streets where while the utilities were in good shape, the roadways needed to be replaced.

“If you added in those streets along with Main Street we did a total of 18.5 miles,” Lee said.

This represents 28 percent of Anoka’s total street mileage.

“We take a look at several different factors,” said Lee on how staff pinpoint where to go next. “The most obvious one is the street surface condition. But it’s a lot more than that. We take a look at the utilities under the streets and areas where we have problems with the water mains.”

Probably the biggest factor, Lee said, are the areas where the city has problems with surface water because of inadequate storm water drainage.

Density is also a factor. Lee said staff look at what areas the city will get the biggest bang for its buck with a street reconstruction project.

“All things being equal, we would choose those streets over less dense areas,” Lee said.

Mandy Moran Froemming is at [email protected]