by Dennis Dalman
Major alterations to Pinecone Road are expected to begin in June and be completed sometime in October, which is about a month later than once expected.
The later ending date, however, will likely save the city about $150,000 on the project costs, according to Sartell City Engineer Mike Neilson. Stretching the project’s time frame will result in lower bid results by companies during a busy construction season, allowing them more flexibility in their scheduling.
At the April 13 city-council meeting, members authorized Neilson to proceed with bids for Phase I of the project. The project will include construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Pinecone Road and 2nd Street S., a right turn lane into the Bernick’s Arena area, a concrete portion of road for Pinecone starting just south of 2nd Street and ending 500 feet south of 7th Street N., bike-hike trail resurfacing, decorative street lighting and perhaps a right-turn lane coming out of the Pine Meadow Elementary School parking lot. Neilson, however, said school officials are not certain they want that right-turn lane at this point. He will meet with them again to determine that.
Council member Amy Braig-Lindstrom said that, although the plan was well presented, she is against the project at this time because it’s so expensive.
Neilson acknowledged it is expensive, but he added any Pinecone improvements would be even more expensive down the road unless something is done now.
The project is estimated to cost about $2.9 million.