Five-year capital improvement plan approved in Andover

Andover has a lot of road maintenance projects in its 2014-2018 capital improvement plan.

The Andover City Council Oct. 15 unanimously approved this planning document, which does not officially approve any projects and equipment purchases, but gives the city a five-year budget forecast to prepare for what may lie ahead.

A street reconstruction project slated for next year is for Station Parkway between Crosstown and Hanson boulevards. Photo by Eric Hagen
A street reconstruction project slated for next year is for Station Parkway between Crosstown and Hanson boulevards. Photo by Eric Hagen

“Just because it’s in the book doesn’t mean it’s the Bible and never changes,” said Councilmember Sheri Bukkila. “It is a good plan, but it is fluid on an annual basis.”

The capital improvement plan includes capital expenditures for road, sewer, water, storm water and park infrastructure projects along with various equipment purchases. Capital purchases from 2014 through 2018 is estimated to be $35,056,500 and equipment expenses are slated to be $4,150,500, but a $600,000 payment for a new ladder truck is listed in both budgets.

Streets projects typically constitute the vast majority of capital projects expenditures for the city, according to plan documents from previous years. The city estimates that 67.58 percent of the $35,056,500 in projected capital projects expenditures from 2014 through 2018 will be for road projects and 2014 is slated to be the busiest of the five years in terms of road projects.

The two largest individual projects in 2014 estimated to total $1,126,000 will actually be covered by state gas tax revenue through the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s municipal state aid program. These projects are the reconstruction of Station Parkway on the south side of the Andover Station commercial area between Crosstown and Hanson boulevards and the reconstruction of Prairie Road from Andover to Crosstown boulevards.

Andover is also planning to reconstruct Makah Street from 159th to 165th avenues and 159th Avenue from Makah Street to Seventh Avenue. The estimated reconstruction cost is $660,000 and the city would pay 75 percent of the actual costs while property owners along these city streets cover the remaining 25 percent if the project proceeds.

The intersection of Hanson Boulevard and 161st Avenue will be getting a traffic signal next year thanks to a federal highway safety improvement grant. Anoka County is also planning to fund improvements along Crosstown Boulevard at Andover Boulevard next to Andover High School to improve traffic flow during the morning and afternoon rush hours.

Another notable expenditure for 2014 is paying for a new ladder truck, but the city is splitting the $1.2 million cost over this year and next year.

A few park projects include renovating Rose Park and paving the parking lot at Prairie Knoll Park. The preliminary design for the updated Rose Park includes a second baseball field. Both ball fields would have aglime infields. A new gravel parking lot that could hold up to 46 vehicles is also proposed.

Beyond 2014

Andover is in the middle of the first phase of creating a new community park on 40 acres on the northeast corner of 161st Avenue and Tulip Street. The initial portion of this project has focused on creating three new fields that could be used by youth football, lacrosse and soccer teams, but the second phase would add many more features to draw people from outside the youth sports associations. The concept includes a park pavilion, nature trails weaving through the wooded areas of the park and next to prairie grass and wetland demonstration areas and a multi-purpose building with concession stand and restrooms.

Although $2 million is budgeted for the second phase with $500,000 being included inserted annually in the budget between 2015 and 2018, this project will be done as funds become available, according to the capital improvement plan.

Andover has several trail projects in mind for 2016 and beyond such as an eight-foot wide bituminous trail along Andover Boulevard from Bluebird to Vale streets and a five-foot wide concrete sidewalk along Bunker Lake Boulevard from Hidden Creek North Park just west of Yukon Street to Crosstown Boulevard.

The fire department is planning to replace a water tanker vehicle, possibly in 2017, at an estimated cost of $340,000.

After a few busy years of reconstructing some major roads such as South Coon Creek Drive and Nightingale Street, Andover does not have any state aid routes on schedule for reconstruction past 2015. But Andover does have plenty of other road projects on tap on the less traveled roads, including the ongoing crack sealing and seal coating projects.

“I know assessments are the issue people usually will have and I want to make sure that folks out there if they want the opportunity know they can look at where these projects are going to be and where they’re going to happen so they can be prepared in advance,” Mayor Mike Gamache said.

City Engineer and Public Works Superintendent David Berkowitz said road projects in the next two years are usually set, but anything beyond that can be moved out. For example, the city for 2016 is tentatively scheduled to reconstruct the streets of a neighborhood generally located on the south side of Round Lake and north of 143rd Avenue between Xenia Street and Round Lake Boulevard.

The city in 2015 will do no reconstruction projects so it can concentrate on overlays, but benefiting property owners would still be assessed for this work.

Eric Hagen is at [email protected]