Part of Bunker Lake Boulevard closing May 6

Commuters who use Bunker Lake Boulevard (CSAH 116) east of Seventh Avenue will have to find an alternative route this summer.

Bunker Lake Boulevard will be completely closed from near Blackfoot Street to Seventh Avenue starting May 6 for a road reconstruction project.Photo by Eric Hagen

Bunker Lake Boulevard will be completely closed from near Blackfoot Street to Seventh Avenue starting May 6 for a road reconstruction project.Photo by Eric Hagen

Bunker Lake Boulevard from Seventh to 38th avenues will be transformed to a four-lane road with a trail that will stretch beyond this road project boundary to Round Lake Boulevard.

Starting Monday, May 6, Bunker Lake Boulevard will be closed between Seventh Avenue to just west of 38th Avenue near Blackfoot Street, according to Harry Grams, construction engineering supervisor. This segment would be closed completely through August.

Grams said Andover residents living on Blackfoot Street would still be able to use Bunker Lake Boulevard to get to and from Round Lake Boulevard (CSAH 9) because they have no other exit out of the neighborhood.

A final lift of pavement cannot be done until next year, so the project is not expected to be done until about June 2014, Grams said.

North Pine Aggregate of Forest Lake had a construction bid of $6,838,163.79 approved by the Anoka County Board April 23. A federal grant is covering $4.7 million of that and the county and cities of Andover and Anoka are using their own funding sources to cover the remaining cost.

For example, Andover’s construction costs covered by its Municipal State Aid fund financed by Minnesota Department of Transportation gas tax dollars will be $204,553. Rosella Sonsteby will be assessed for the extension of sewer and water lines to her property and Andover’s water utility fund will be paying another $65,352 for a water loop project.

The Bunker Lake Boulevard reconstruction project officially kicked off Monday for clearing and grubbing. Grams said the late winter probably pushed back the start of the project by two to three weeks.

Access changes

A concrete median will reduce full access that some streets and private driveways had to Bunker Lake Boulevard and a bit of Seventh Avenue where medians are being extended round the reconstructed Bunker Lake Boulevard and Seventh Avenue intersection.

For example, residents driving from 140th Avenue in Andover can now take a left to head east on Bunker Lake Boulevard, but the new median will prevent this in the future and restrict access to a right in, right out.

A new traffic signal will be added at 38th Avenue in Andover, but the Bunker Lake Boulevard access west of Seventh Avenue at the Rum River Library and Anoka High School will still be a full access without a traffic signal.

The southwest corner of Bunker Lake Boulevard and Seventh Avenue already includes the high school and Anoka Ice Arena and will soon include the new Castle Field. Traffic will also able to access this corner off Seventh Avenue at 40th Lane.

To accommodate future development in Andover north of Bunker Lake Boulevard on the east side of Seventh Avenue, Anoka County will allow three full accesses between Seventh Avenue and 157th Avenue with the most southern access being near the CenterPoint Energy/Northern Natural Gas site.

The median will be wide enough to accommodate a future three-quarters access for the south end of Bunker Lake Boulevard somewhere east of Seventh Avenue in case this area redevelops.

Eric Hagen is at eric.hagen@ecm-inc.com

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