County hires consultant for Foley Boulevard study

A consulting firm has been hired by Anoka County to complete environmental documentation for the planned reconstruction of Foley Boulevard in Coon Rapids from Egret Boulevard to Northdale Boulevard.

The Anoka County Board has approved a contract with SRF Consulting Group totaling $78,205.06 on the recommendation of its Public Works Committee.

Requests for proposal were received from six firms.

The environmental documentation is required because the project has received federal funding, according to Doug Fischer, county highway engineer.

Through its study, SRF will identify any environmental issues that might impact the project, although there are none anticipated, Fischer said.

The study is also expected to look at potential noise issues associated with the road upgrade from two to four lanes with a center median, he said.

The design work for the project itself is being handled in-house by the county highway department – a preliminary design can be found on the county highway department website.

And the first of three planned public meetings is expected to take place this summer so that residents can get a look at the preliminary design for the project and also address environmental concerns, Fischer said.

The 0.9-mile project, which is on the county’s 2015 construction timetable, will reconstruct the existing two-lane roadway to a four-lane divided road with a center concrete median and dedicated left- and right-turn lanes at full access intersections.

The project also includes the construction of a trail on one side of Foley and replacement of an existing sidewalk on the other.

According to the project webpage, the proposed trail and sidewalk will provide links between the various residential neighborhoods along the corridor and nearby commercial, recreational and educational facilities.

There will be some access points to residential streets closed as part of the project, according to Fischer.

But he said there is a good network of residential streets that will provide other options for motorists to get to the Foley intersections that stay open, Fischer said.

According to the preliminary design on the county highway department website, only two full access intersections would remain in place – at 109th Avenue and 113th Avenue.

For the other existing intersections, the preliminary design shows:

• 107th Lane, closed.

• 108th Avenue, right-in, right-out only.

• 108th Lane, right-in, right-out only.

• 109th Lane, closed.

• 110th Avenue, both sides, right-in, right-out only.

• 110th Lane, right-in, right-out only.

• 111th Avenue, closed.

• 111th Lane, right-in, right-out.

• 112th Lane, north of Foley closed.

• 112th Lane, a cul de sac south of Foley, right-in, right-out only.

• Only one of two access points to the Egret Oaks house development on the north side of Foley, immediately east of the Egret intersection, will remain open and it will be right-in and right-out only. These homes do not have any access to the residential streets.

The project also plans to straighten out the configuration of the Northdale-Foley intersection, he said.

“We want to square it off,” Fischer said.

There is also the possibility that some properties will be taken because of the road widening and also the planned configuration change at the Northdale-Foley intersection, according to Fischer.

But Fischer said there is a good amount of right of way in place right now – similar to the right of way on Foley between 101st and Egret which is presently four lanes and is scheduled for an upgrade in 2014.

The county has received $2.988 million in federal funds for the project, which has a preliminary cost estimate of $3,735,000.

According to the highway department website, existing traffic volumes on this stretch of Foley are 15,000 vehicles a day and are projected to increase to 25,000 vehicles a day by 2030.

“This project will improve mobility and increase safety on the network by providing additional capacity and reducing access,” the website states.

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

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