Anoka has approved a construction contract for a new road that will provide access to Anoka High School, Castle Field and the Anoka Ice Arena.
The project to build what will be known as Castle Field Boulevard also includes the addition of a signalized intersection at Bunker Lake Boulevard.
This will provide access to the new Rum River Shores housing development, where construction is already underway.
The city council approved a contract for $1,895,121.52 with North Pine Aggregate, Inc. to build the new road and intersection.
North Pine Aggregate is also contracted to do the road construction in the Rum River Shores development as well as the Anoka County road project at the intersection of Seventh Avenue and Bunker Lake Boulevard, according to Public Services Director Greg Lee.
The bid was one of five on the project, the highest coming in at just over $2.1 million.
“If you look at the spread of the five bidders involved they are all very close, which is a good indication the specs were fairly well understood by the contractors,” Lee said.
The engineer’s estimate on the construction was $1.95 million, according to Lee.
Construction on the intersection will begin as soon as possible, with the minimum of the northbound and turn lanes being completed this fall.
First thing in the spring, the contractor would continue on the southbound lanes as well as construction of the boulevard and the installation of the traffic signals. The project would be largely complete in August, before school starts, Lee said.
Landmark Development is also sharing in the cost of the traffic signal, with the city and the developer each contributing $253,000.
The council has supported the idea both for access to the neighborhood but also for improved safety for those visiting the sports facilities and the high school campus.
“You can make a lot of arguments in all directions about how appropriate it is to place this intersection where it is, but the safety issues for all concerns just say this is a terrific idea,” said Mayor Phil Rice.
Councilmember Jeff Weaver said the addition of the intersection will benefit many different groups and will be spur more new development in the area.
“That signal at that intersection just doesn’t benefit the housing development,” Weaver said. “It benefits the high school, it benefits the hockey arena, it benefits Castle Field, it benefits the Anoka County Library system. It’s going to set things in motion.
“It’s really going to set the tide for the whole quadrant as this area develops.
Once the boulevard is constructed, the parking lot located at Gray Ghost Field will be relocated to Sixth Avenue, which will then be vacated north of Castle Field and the intersection will be eliminated.
Part of the parking will be also be relocated to school property, said Lee, south of the existing parking.
Mandy Moran Froemming is at