by Dennis Dalman
A roadway feasibility report for Sartell totaling an estimated $19 million was approved by the city council at its July 25 meeting.
Council approval of the study will enhance the city’s possibility of requesting and securing funding sources, including perhaps in a state bonding bill.
The name of the highly detailed study is the “Central MN Healthcare Hub Feasibility Study” because the six roads in question are all near the health-care campus in Sartell north of CR 120.
Authorized by the council in February of this year, the study was done by Short Elliot Hendrickson, the city’s contracted engineering firm. The report was highlighted for the city council by Chad Jorgenson, that firm’s project manager for the study; and by April Ryan of SEH, who is also Sartell’s current city engineer.
The feasibility study examined in great detail traffic impacts, safety factors such as previous crash statistics, roadway capacities, wetland delineations and impacts, right-of-way needs. It also studied various options for street construction (mainly making three-lane roads from two-lane roads), recommendations for road alignments, new and/or extended utilities, storm sewer, sanitary sewer and trail alignments.
The following roadways were the subjects of the study:
• 15th Street S. (extension of that road between Pinecone Road and Roberts Road, with maybe traffic lights on Roberts Road)
• Beetle Boulevard (extension of it from Roberts Road to Scout Drive)
• Fourth Avenue S. (south of Second Street S to Third Street S.)
• LeSauk Drive (between Dehler Drive and Riverside Avenue, also known as CR 1)
• The road between 23rd Street S. and Heritage Drive.
• Leander Avenue (50th Avenue).
A roundabout could be constructed at the meeting point of Leander Avenue/Dehler Drive/Scout Drive.
The area where those roads now exist is largely open land with not a lot of developments. That, however, is expected to change during the next 20 years as more land uses are planned, including health-care facilities, commercial, office and residential. There are already several road-construction projects now happening in that area.
The improvements of the roads that are the subject of report are expected to accommodate traffic and visitors to that area for decades into the future.