Round Lake Boulevard segment to be reconstructed in 2014

Round Lake Boulevard, from Main Street south to 115th Avenue, will be reconstructed in 2014.

The Coon Rapids City Council Dec. 17 approved an engineering services agreement with WSB & Associates for the project, which will cover 1.26 miles.

Round Lake Boulevard is a collector street, built wider and to stronger standards than the typical residential street to carry more traffic, which means it is eligible for state aid street funds.

These are dollars the city receives each year from the state from proceeds of the state gas tax.

According to Public Works Director Tim Himmer, the cost of WSB & Associates’ work on the project, not to exceed $245,000, will be paid from that account not the city’s general fund, which derives its revenues primarily from the property tax levy.

Round Lake Boulevard was identified for reconstruction as part of the city’s road rating evaluation and annual reconstruction program, Himmer wrote in a report to the council.

“The road is in poor condition,” he said.

Requests for proposal for the engineering services were issued by the city and WSB & Associates provided the lowest cost of the three responses.

Under the contract, WSB & Associates will do surveying, feasibility study, design, plans and specifications, construction administration and inspections.

The project timetable calls for the feasibility study to be completed in mid-February following a neighborhood meeting in early February, according to Himmer.

The council will have a public/assessment hearing on the proposed project in March and if approved, bidding will take place in May with construction to start in June, Himmer said.

As part of the feasibility study, it will be determined whether the reconstruction work will go as far north as Main Street or stop at the apron of the bridge which crosses the railroad tracks, he said.

“The bridge appears to be in pretty good condition,” Himmer said.

In addition, the city is conducting a traffic signal justification study for a possible traffic signal at the Round Lake Boulevard and Wedgewood Drive intersection, he said.

There was a temporary signal at the intersection while the bridge was under construction, then a four-way stop sign, but now there is no traffic control, Himmer said.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation would have to approve the traffic signal based on the city study, he said.

City engineering staff will be focusing its efforts on the residential street reconstruction projects – some 8.25 miles are planned in 2014, according to Himmer.

Feasibility reports for those projects – there will be three of them – were ordered by the council Nov. 19.

But Himmer said city staff may still have time to supplement the work of the consultant on the Round Lake Boulevard project.

“Staff will manage the contract and look for opportunities to take on portions of the project in an effort to reduce the amount of work provided by the consultant, while still not diminishing service to our residents and businesses along this corridor,” he wrote in a report to the council.

This past fall when Himmer presented plans for the 2014 road reconstruction program to the council at a work session, the estimated cost of the Round Lake Boulevard reconstruction was pegged at $1.238 million with partial curb and gutter replacement as needed.

Of that amount, assessments to benefiting property owners was only anticipated to contribute $180,000 because few properties front on Round Lake Boulevard.

That would leave more than $1 million to be paid from the state aid street account.

But if a traffic signal on Round Lake Boulevard at Wedgewood Drive becomes part of the project, the cost would be significantly higher, with the state aid account being the source of funding, Himmer said.

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]