Ramsey, county outline obligations for interchange

To boost the chances of getting funding for the U.S. Highway 10 and Armstrong Boulevard interchange, the city of Ramsey and the Anoka County Board have approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

With the railroad tracks running close to Highway 10 and across three Ramsey roads, first responders are cut off from the south side of Highway 10 when trains pass. The city of Ramsey is seeking state and federal funds for an overpass at Armstrong Boulevard to improve safety. File photo by Eric Hagen

With the railroad tracks running close to Highway 10 and across three Ramsey roads, first responders are cut off from the south side of Highway 10 when trains pass. The city of Ramsey is seeking state and federal funds for an overpass at Armstrong Boulevard to improve safety. File photo by Eric Hagen

“The purpose of the MOU is to define each party’s financial obligation for the construction of the interchange project, which is estimated at $35,510,000,” said Ramsey City Administrator Kurt Ulrich.

According to the MOU approved unanimously April 23 by the Ramsey City Council, the financial contribution to the project of both the city and county would be capped at $10 million each and both agencies would pay half of any shortfall until the cap is reached.

When the Anoka County Board approved its MOU unanimously April 23, it did not include the sentence that was in the MOU approved by the city council, “It is agreed that the city and the county will contribute an equal financial share toward the construction of this project.”

In its MOU, the county board only capped its contribution at $10 million and made no mention of Ramsey’s contribution cap, but did agree that the city and the county would share any shortfall equally.

It is necessary to have the MOU to move forward, but county and the city should be paying equally toward the project, said Councilmember John LeTourneau, during the council’s April 23 council work session.

The city has already contributed $7.4 million to the project. Where is the remaining $3 million going to come from, he said.

The funding source has not been identified yet, said Ulrich.

According to the city MOU, the city has contributed $7,059,700 to the project through the construction of approach roads and intersections, extension of a frontage road and property acquisition and design.

The county put in $1.7 million for the Sunwood Drive/Armstrong Boulevard realignment, which was done in preparation of the proposed interchange, Ulrich said.

According to the county, the project funding assumptions include $17 million from the state, $10 million from federal funding and $4 million each from the city of Ramsey and the county.

The county is pursuing state grant applications from the Transportation Economic Development (TED) program and the Corridor Investment Management Strategy (CIMS) program, according to the April 23 Anoka County Board case background.

The interchange proposal would eliminate the at-grade intersection on Highway 10 and Armstrong Boulevard and provide the city of Ramsey with an unobstructed access to Highway 10.

“The city will be working with the county to resolve any difference in the MOU language,” Ulrich said.

Tammy Sakry is at tammy.sakry@ecm-inc.com

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