LED street lights to be added to University Avenue

University Avenue will be brighter once a road reconstruction project is completed next year.

University Avenue will be brighter once a road reconstruction project is completed next year. File photo by Eric Hagen

University Avenue will be brighter once a road reconstruction project is completed next year. File photo by Eric Hagen

The Blaine City Council March 6 unanimously approved an $89,610 lighting contract with Connexus Energy to install 13 135-watt LED light poles that will be 30 feet high.

Coon Rapids is also proceeding with a similar contract with Connexus Energy, Blaine City Engineer Jean Keely informed the Blaine council.

The street lights will be staggered at approximately 300-foot intervals, alternating between the Blaine and Coon Rapids sides, Keely said.

Each city will be required to pay a monthly energy and maintenance fee. Keely said Blaine is paying $9.46 per light per month, which amounts to $122.98 per month for its 13 lights.

Included in the project for the new four-lane divided roadway are 8-foot-wide trails on both sides of the road.

Project update

Anoka County Engineer Doug Fischer and Assistant Anoka County Engineer Andrew Witter updated the council on several pending or in-the-works projects in Blaine.

University Avenue between 109th and 125th avenues will be reconstructed over the next two construction seasons, Fischer said. This year’s work will likely start in July and consist of moving utilities, clearing trees and demolishing the Blaine homes the county bought for additional right-of-way and stormwater ponding. The bulk of the reconstruction work will take place in 2015.

Fischer said Anoka County has purchased nine single family homes on Blaine’s side between 109th and 111th avenues. The three homes closest to 111th Avenue will be needed for the stormwater pond.

Nyle Zikmund, chief of the Blaine-Spring Lake Park-Blaine-Mounds View Fire Department, said firefighters would be doing search and rescue training in these three homes before they are demolished. There would be smoke, but no live fire training.

Fischer said the Anoka County Community Action Program is still working on a potential redevelopment project on the northeast corner of University and 109th avenues.

The council this past December learned that ACCAP is interested in building five new six-unit townhome buildings for a total of 30 units. It already owns four homes that it leases to RISE, Inc. for its transitional housing program, but there are two privately-owned single family homes in the area located between the ACCAP homes and the nine homes the county purchased.

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

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