Andover continues Makah Street reconstruction planning

After a public hearing that did not draw any resident comments, the Andover City Council Feb. 5 unanimously approved a motion asking its city engineer to complete plans for the reconstruction of Makah Street from 159th Avenue to Roanoke Street and 159th Avenue from Makah Street to 7th Avenue.

The project is estimated to cost $864,810 and includes replacing a culvert under 159th Avenue, according to City Engineer and Public Works Director David Berkowitz. The council must still approve a construction bid at a subsequent meeting before reconstruction will happen.

Assuming the project moves forward, Berkowitz said the contractor would work on Makah Street first starting in early May and wrap it up in mid-June before moving onto 159th Avenue. All work could be done by August.

“From afar it looks pretty decent and you wonder why are we going in to reconstruct,” Berkowitz said. “When you take a closer look you begin to see the fatigue cracking. Once you see the fatigue cracking occur, you start to see bigger issues.”

Berkowitz showed pictures of this fatigue cracking, also called alligator cracking, on the edge of a driveway and in areas where the slope of the street is not great enough to move the water to the storm drainage system. The longer water sits, the greater chance the pavement will wear down and crack and get potholes, Berkowitz explained.

The road will get concrete curb and gutter to improve drainage and provide better structural support for the road, Berkowitz said. The 35-foot road is wider than the typical city street, so it will be reduced to 31 feet, which Berkowitz said should slow down traffic.

The city in 2013 reconstructed the Stenquist Addition neighborhood and 159th Avenue to the west. Berkowitz said the city did not reconstruct this portion of 159th Avenue between Makah Street and Seventh Avenue then because the city was still working with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on planning for replacement of the 36 inches in diameter corrugated metal culvert.

The 22 property owners along Makah Street will not be assessed for 159th Avenue reconstruction or the culvert replacement, Berkowitz said.

Their share of the project, which amounts to $6,500 per assessable parcel is just to repair the street in front of them. One property owner will be assessed for two parcels because their property is large enough to be subdivided.

The city holds a neighborhood meeting and public hearing before every road reconstruction project. While no one attended the Feb. 5 public hearing, Berkowitz told the council there was a good turnout at the Dec. 17 neighborhood meeting held at city hall.

One resident is interested in selling their home this summer and is disappointed that the project was happening now, according to Berkowitz. The assessment hearing is in October and the residents’ share would be based on actual construction costs and not the estimate. Assessments not paid in full within 30 days are added to property taxes as a special assessment and must be paid off within 10 years.

Eric Hagen is at [email protected]