by Dennis Dalman
An extensive, expensive feasibility plan for the reconstruction of Sartell’s 19th Avenue South was approved unanimously by the city council at its June 28 meeting.
Jon Halter, a city engineer and employee of the Short Elliot Hendrickson engineering firm in St. Cloud, presented the plan to the council.
The total cost of the project is estimated at $7.6 million, although the city would be responsible for $863,000 of the cost. The other costs would be borne by other sources that would include assessments of property in that area, state-aid funds ($4 million) and federal-aid funds ($1.91 million.)
The project would involve redoing 19th Avenue South from CR 4 to CR 133 (aka 6th Street S.) The entire road and its surface will be rebuilt to 10-ton capacity, widening the current 24-inch-wide road to 45 feet, adding left-turn lanes, a grass boulevard and extensive water/sewer line improvement or additions all along the way. A hill in that area, currently a safety-visibility concern, would be lowered by a few feet.
A bike trail will be added on the west side of the roadway. The partial bike trails currently there, now in a state of deterioration, will be redone.
There will also be additional lighting and at least one or two push-button pedestrian crossings installed.
Nineteenth Avenue South is now a road that cuts through mainly empty, rural land. The project takes account of the likelihood those areas (both in the township and within the city limits) will be developed sooner or later, and the plan calls for a design that would involve convenient ways to extend utilities, such as water and sewer, to areas when they are developed.
There are two basic kinds of assessment for the project: “potential future assessments,” meaning those areas of land not yet developed in the township areas; and “deferred future assessments” that refers to property within city limits that has not yet been developed.
It will require the acquisition of 17 easements for the project to take place, and engineer Halter said he and others have already begun communicating with landowners for the easements.
The project could start as early as spring of 2022.
A public hearing about the plan will take place at the July 26 city council meeting.