Overlay projects on county roads approved

The Anoka County Board May 27 awarded a contract for the county’s 2014 overlay project.

Acting on a recommendation from its Transportation Committee, the board approved a contract with Valley Paving Inc., in the amount of $5.65 million, which was the lowest of five bids that were submitted.

It came in a little higher than the engineer’s estimate of $5.52 million, but that won’t mean this year’s program, which involves nine county roads covering just over 18 miles, will have to be changed, according to Doug Fischer, county highway engineer and division manager for transportation.

“The work will be done as proposed,” Fischer said.

Funding for the overlay program comes from the county property tax levy, he said.

The contractor will start work in early June with completion scheduled in the fall, Fischer said.

But those projects that impact schools will be finished by Labor Day, he said.

The work planned includes overlay, where a new surface is placed on the existing road; mill and overlay, where two inches of the existing surface is removed and replaced by two inches of new bituminous; and reclamation, in which up to four inches of the existing surface is ground up, regraded and up to four inches of new asphalt is put on top, according to Fischer.

In one case, on Lake Drive from Lexington Avenue to Hodgson Road in Circle Pines, where there is a concrete pavement under the asphalt, the asphalt will be removed, an industrial mesh product placed on the concrete and up to four inches of asphalt put on top of that, Fischer said.

The other eight projects to be improved as part of the contract are:

• East River Road from 1,200 feet north of 90th Avenue to Coon Rapids Boulevard, mill and overlay.

• Lexington Avenue from 800 feet of Broadway Avenue to Viking Boulevard in Ham Lake, Columbus and East Bethel, overlay

• County State Aid Highway 49 from the south county border to 160 feet north of Ware Road in Circle Pines, overlay.

• Radisson Road from 520 feet north of 139th Lane NE to 153rd Avenue/County Road 61 and County Road 61 from Radisson Road to Xylite Street NE in Ham Lake, reclaim.

• Ramsey Boulevard from 300 feet north of 147th Avenue NW to Nowthen Boulevard in Ramsey, reclaim.

• County Road 58 from 165th Avenue to Round Lake Boulevard.  from 165th Avenue NW to Round Lake Boulevard in Andover, overlay.

• Green Valley Road from Nowthen Boulevard to TH 47 in Ramsey, reclaim.

• County Road 82 from west county border to  201st Avenue in Nowthen, reclaim.

Also planned this year is a whitetopping or concrete overlay of Viking Boulevard in East Bethel from the railroad tracks to 1,365 feet east of University Avenue, which will be constructed under a separate contract, with the highway department anticipating going out for bids in June, according to Fischer.

That’s expected to have a cost in the $1 million range, Fischer said.

In response to questions from county board members, he said pavement conditions on county roads are reviewed annually, but flexibility is built in, so that if roads not previously planned for overlay work that year come through the winter in rough shape, then they can be moved up in the schedule.

The 2014 program is an example with the Lake Drive and Ramsey Boulevard projects being added because their conditions deteriorated significantly over the harsh winter, even though they were not planned for 2014, Fischer said.

These roads took quite a beating, he said.

“With these projects moving up in the queue, this will free up dollars to move other projects into the schedule,” said County Commissioner Scott Schulte, transportation committee chairperson.

According to Fischer, the county has increased the number and scope of its overlay projects in recent years to meet the maintenance demands and pavement conditions on county roads have improved as a result.