Blaine council sets hearing dates on two road projects

The Blaine City Council Jan. 17 approved feasibility reports for two road projects and scheduled public hearings for Feb. 21.

One project involves the partial reconstruction of Paul Parkway from Oak Park Boulevard to Ulysses Street. This road runs right by the Blaine Baseball Complex, so City Engineer Jean Keely said work would not begin until August to limit the impact to the teams.

Bln-Roads-1The other project involves reconstructing 101st Avenue from Flanders to Naples streets. Keely said this project will take place from June through September.

Property owners along these roads will have the chance to view the plans in more detail at Feb. 6 informational meetings set up by city staff before the council public hearings.

Assuming the council decides to move forward Feb. 21, the city will advertise for bids and then the council will vote at its May 16 meeting, according to Keely’s preliminary schedule.

Property owners in both project areas would face assessments and have up to 10 years to pay them off, starting in 2014, Keely said.

Breaking down the projects

Paul Parkway was originally constructed as a two-lane road in 1971. Just nine years later, it was widened to four lanes.

Bln-Roads-2Since this expansion project in 1980, Keely said the road had a bituminous overlay in 1992 and was seal coated in 2000.

In the case of 101st Avenue between Flanders and Naples streets, Keely said it was last restored in 1999 when the trunk sewer and water mains were installed in that area.

Paul Parkway will be the most expensive of the two projects with the estimated cost currently at $797,850, while 101st Avenue reconstruction is estimated to cost $440,400.

Existing storm sewer infrastructure, including manholes and catch basins, will need to be replaced as well as the fire hydrants. About one-fourth of the curb will need to be replaced and pedestrian ramps must be upgraded to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, according to Keely.

As for the road itself, the new surface will have four inches of pavement on top, eight inches of reclaimed gravel base underneath the pavement and compacted sand underneath the gravel.

The existing sand underneath 101st Avenue will also be compacted to provide a more sturdy base. Keely said after Oak Park Boulevard was paved last fall, the road was very bumpy.

They had similar problems on 99th Avenue, but the damage there was not as extensive as that on Oak Park Boulevard, she said.

Keely said Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) staff were called in to review this road because the city got state aid money to help pay for this project, and they believe the fine sand under the gravel shifted or settled.

The contractor did some patch work to Oak Park Boulevard to help with the really bad dips in the road, but a longer term solution will be determined by the city and approved by MnDOT, she said.

MnDOT’s suggestion for Paul Parkway and 101st Avenue, which are also roads the city gets state aid for, is to compact the sand before placing the gravel and pavement on top.

On top of the compacted sand on 101st Avenue, there will be an eight-inch gravel base and a four-inch pavement layer.

101st Avenue is a rural road with a ditch drainage system rather than curb and gutter. The city plans to keep this ditch system, but regrade it to correct drainage problems. However, the city would evaluate curb and gutter if the property owners ask for it.

There does not need to be any upgrades to the sanitary sewer and water pipes, but fire hydrants will have to be replaced.

Eric Hagen is at [email protected]