Ramsey council approves road maintenance projects

The city of Ramsey is moving forward with numerous street maintenance projects in the next few weeks.

Willemite Street is one of three roads in the Ramsey Town Center 9th addition that may or may not get a wear course pavement layer this summer, depending on whether the city of Ramsey hears from the developer and owner first on how it will pay for road work on these privately owned streets. The adjacent 8th and 10th additions, including homes shown in this photo, will get the wear course work done because its roads are owned by the city.

Willemite Street is one of three roads in the Ramsey Town Center 9th addition that may or may not get a wear course pavement layer this summer, depending on whether the city of Ramsey hears from the developer and owner first on how it will pay for road work on these privately owned streets. The adjacent 8th and 10th additions, including homes shown in this photo, will get the wear course work done because its roads are owned by the city. Photo by Eric Hagen

The Ramsey City Council July 23 unanimously approved seal coating work in the amount of $338,072 to be finished by Allied Blacktop of Maple Grove. North Metro Asphalt of Ham Lake will do a paving and wear course lift within Ramsey Town Center’s Eighth and 10th additions for a cost of $153,095. Both approved contracts came in under the engineer’s estimate.

Seal coating projects are located throughout the community, but a couple of examples where multiple neighborhood roads will be worked on are the northeast corner of Bunker Lake and Ramsey boulevards, and between Sunfish Lake Boulevard and Iodine Street and north of Bunker Lake Boulevard up to 145th Lane.

All seal coating work will be paid for from the city’s general fund to which all taxpayers contribute.

The wear course lift for roads in the newer Ramsey Town Center are in a much more concentrated area and this work will be funded by an escrow account into which the developer paid.

A one-and-a-half inch to two-inch thick wear course is typically placed as quickly as possible after the base course is paved to provide structural support to the road, according to Ramsey City Engineer Bruce Westby.

“However, sometimes the development that the road serves is slow to build out so the wear course is left off for one or more years to allow more homes to be constructed in order to prevent, as much as practical, construction traffic from damaging the surface of the road, thereby leading to an eyesore for the residents and increase maintenance costs to the city or developer and association,” Westby said.

A problem for the city is it would like to complete the wear course on the roads of the neighboring Ninth Addition, but there is no remaining escrow, he said.

It was released without the city’s notification because the developer’s agreement did not require the city to be notified, according to Tim Gladhill, development services manager.

“There was certainly a breakdown in communication somewhere along the line,” Gladhill said.

The general vicinity of the Eighth, Ninth, and 10th additions of Ramsey Town Center is north of Bunker Lake Boulevard, west of Town Center Drive and east of Armstrong Boulevard.

Westby said all three additions were constructed by different developers. The streets in the Eighth and 10th additions including 147th Terrace, 147th Lane, 148th Lane and 149th Avenue were constructed to meet city standards and are thus public roads. The Ninth Addition’s streets are not constructed to city standards and are privately owned and maintained.

The council’s motion did not automatically approve the wear course work in the 9th addition, which includes the streets of 147th Place, 148th Trail, Willemite Street and Willemite Way.

However, the council did direct Westby to contact the developer and owner of the Ramsey Town Center Ninth Addition to see if there would be interest in them joining in the road improvement project.

Westby suggested this should be done, saying the road was deteriorating and has weeds growing in it.

Bulk pricing and logistics make this a welcome addition to the wear course project. Councilmember Randy Backous and other city officials do not want the city completing the roads of the Eighth and 10th additions only to have heavy trucks roll through when working on the Ninth Addition at a future date.

“It’s not a question of should it be done. I think it should be done, in my mind,” Backous said. “It’s who is going to pay for it.”

That is the $34,191 question, which was the alternative bid price North Metro Asphalt proposed for completing the Ninth Addition’s roads.

Councilmember Mark Kuzma asked if the city could bill the development owner if the city included the Ninth Addition in the wear course lift project.

City staff said it could not do this without getting permission and City Administrator Kurt Ulrich advised against the city working on this road unless the owner would agree to pay for it.

“It’s not an assessment process,” Ulrich said. “In fact, it’s probably a pretty poor precedent that we’d go in and fix private roads without charging for it.”

 

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

 
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