Ramsey City Council asks for feasibility report on road project

The Ramsey City Council Feb. 25 authorized the preparation of a feasibility report for the reconstruction of two streets within the Now and Then Estates neighborhood.

The Ramsey City Council authorized preparation of a feasibility report for reconstructing Garnet Street and 168th Avenue in the Now and Then Estates neighborhood, but the funding source is unknown and the project will not happen this year. File photo by Eric Hagen

The Ramsey City Council authorized preparation of a feasibility report for reconstructing Garnet Street and 168th Avenue in the Now and Then Estates neighborhood, but the funding source is unknown and the project will not happen this year. File photo by Eric Hagen

City Engineer Bruce Westby said Garnet Street and 168th Avenue within this neighborhood are “a mixture of bituminous pavement and gravel and hard to maintain at this point.”

They have the lowest possible pavement rating the city can give.

“It’s one of our worst streets in the city and should be next in line for reconstruction,” Westby said.

He said the trouble with Garnet Street and 168th Avenue is the road grade is “relatively flat.” This causes water to pool when it rains, which breaks down the pavement more quickly. These roads were constructed in 1988 and the only major project, not including pothole patching, was a sealcoat in 2006.

How this project will be funded has yet to be determined. No decisions have been made on the city proposal of an $8 per month franchise fee charged to all electric and natural gas customers – a $16 per month fee for customers of both utilities.

The charter commission and council want to explore charter amendments so future city leaders could not use this money for non-road projects, and so there are some limitations on revenue.

Westby said there would not be enough time for the Now and Then Estates project to move forward this year. He said it could take several months to complete this feasibility report because the city engineering department already has a number of other higher priority projects with external funding sources the city wants to capture.

Westby also wants to order more soil borings because soils in that area of the city are poor quality and investigate costs to install sewer and water pipes and a new sidewalk in this neighborhood,

Councilmember Randy Backous said no residents would be forced to hook onto these city utilities, but it made sense to install the infrastructure when the road is already torn up.

If constructed, the six-foot concrete sidewalk would be on the east side of Garnet Street and connect to trails to the north and south.

“This will be a fairly low priority project for us, but we do want authorization from council to begin moving forward at this time to make sure we are keeping up and that hopefully it may be ready to move forward next year,” Westby told the council.

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

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