Joint powers agreements for two Coon Rapids projects approved

Joint powers agreements with Anoka County for two county highway projects in Coon Rapids have been approved by the Coon Rapids City Council.

Both reconstruction projects, one on University Avenue from 109th Avenue to Main Street and the other on Foley Boulevard from 101st Avenue to Egret Boulevard, are scheduled in 2014.

The joint powers agreements spell out the scope of each project and the cost sharing between the agencies involved (University Avenue also involves the city of Blaine).

The University Avenue project includes reconstruction to a four-lane roadway, raised concrete medians, access control, dedicated turn lanes, concrete curb and gutter, drainage improvements, sidewalk and trail work, bridge reconstruction of Sand Creek, noise wall installation, signal system improvements and other utility work, according to Public Works Director Tim Himmer.

The cost estimate for the project is $10.5 million with $6.4 million coming from a federal grant, $3.6 million from the county, $425,000 from the city of Blaine and $315,000 from Coon Rapids.

The city’s cost, which has increased by $40,000 from an earlier estimate because of the decision to install a traffic signal at 113th Avenue, will come from the city’s state aid street account, Himmer wrote in his report to the council.

However, the council asked for more information on a couple of options for the project which would involve only a cost to the city (and Blaine in one case), specifically colored concrete medians and a street lighting proposal.

The colored concrete medians have a cost estimate of $176,000, which would be split between the two cities, although Blaine City Council has not yet acted on the joint powers agreement and stated at a previous work session with the Coon Rapids council that it was not considering the option, according to Himmer.

The city has received a proposal from Connexus Energy for street lighting throughout the corridor with two options.

Before making a decision, the council has asked staff to provide more information on using LED lights rather than the existing high pressure sodium fixtures.

The same information on street lighting options provided by Connexus Energy  was requested by the council as part of its consideration of the Foley Boulevard joint powers agreement.

It also asked for some alternatives from staff on improved aesthetics, for example colored concrete or landscaped medians, throughout the Foley Boulevard corridor similar to what is in place in the small segment of Foley north of Main Street to the Bunker Hills Golf Course entrance.

“The entire cost of any enhancements would be borne by the city,” Himmer told the council.

The Foley reconstruction work will include a four-lane road with raised concrete medians, access control, dedicated turn lanes, concrete curb and gutter, drainage work, sidewalk and trail construction and signal system upgrades.

According to Himmer, the total cost of the project is estimated at $3.4 million with $2.4 million coming from a federal grant, $790,000 from the county and $185,000 from Coon Rapids.

The city’s share has increased by $70,000 since the council reviewed the joint powers agreement at a work session earlier this year because a new traffic signal will be installed at the Foley intersection with 102nd Lane, Himmer wrote in his report to the council.

The city’s cost will come from the state aid street fund, which derives its revenues from an annual state gas tax allocation the city receives from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT).

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com

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