Consultant hired for Hanson reconstruction project

Contributing Writer

A consulting engineering firm has been hired by Anoka County for a project to reconstruct Hanson Boulevard in Coon Rapids from Northdale Boulevard to just south of Main Street.

The Anoka County Board Sept. 12 approved a purchase of service contract with HDR Consulting Group, Inc. for design, environmental review document and engineering work on the project at a cost of $317,433.

Earlier this year, the county was awarded $2.3 million in federal Surface Transportation Block Group Program funds through the Metropolitan Council regional solicitation process.

The estimated project cost is $4.5 million with the county and city of Coon Rapids also involved in financing the project, according to Doug Fischer, county highway engineer and division manager for transportation.

“Construction will take place in 2019,” Fischer said.

Preliminary county plans include upgrading Hanson to a four-lane median divided highway with restricted turn movements and a multi-purpose pedestrian trail.

Three existing full-access intersections at Grouse Street, 122nd Circle and 119th Avenue would be reduced to three-quarter access, while the access to the city’s Lions Coon Creek Park would be cut to right-in, right-out.

When the Coon Rapids City Council approved a letter of support for the county’s federal funding request for the project in July 2016, it did so on a 4-3 vote and contingent on park entrance access being at least three-quarter.

The city is planning to redevelop Lions Coon Creek Park in 2019 with proceeds from the park bond referendum approved by voters in November 2013.

“The city has some access issues which will be addressed during the design and engineering phase,” Fischer said.

There will be public involvement in the process including an open house next year once a proposed layout has been completed and later on, a formal public hearing which is required when federal funding is involved, according to Fischer.

More than likely a new traffic signal will be installed at the signalized Hanson intersection with 121st Avenue and it’s possible there will also be a new traffic signal at the intersection with Northdale, Fischer said.

In addition, some tweaks will likely be made to the traffic movements from Northdale to the Hanson and Highway 10 interchange as part of the project, he said.