by Dennis Dalman
The Sartell City Council, at its Dec. 12 meeting, voted unanimously to endorse Stearns County’s efforts to accomplish a realignment of County State Aid Highway 133.
The proposed project has created controversy and disagreements (see related story below).
Sartell City Administrator Anna Gruber noted the CSAH 133 study involved input from Stearns County, LeSauk Township and Sartell, including several public meetings and public open houses about the plan’s alternatives.
Stearns County, Gruber said, has for many years, since 2004 at least, been studying ways to create a “beltway” around St. Cloud and area cities so traffic, especially big-truck traffic, could be diverted around those cities to major roadways like Hwy. 15 and Hwy. 10. Part of that study was to connect CSAH 133 (west of Sartell) to 19th Avenue S. as a “leg” of the roundabout by Heritage Drive and Sixth Avenue S. on Pinecone Road. That proposed route, however, was complicated by the fact that developments were granted in that area of Sartell, near the roundabout.
In the past two decades, complications about the “beltway” plan led to further complications. Gruber told the council the county is now considering many factors related to options for the CSAH alignment project, which might take as long as 10 years to resolve. Those factors include wetland issues, property owners by the roundabout, a neighborhood near the area and roadway issues that would include rates of speed, curves and more.
The final decision on which plan to adopt would be made by Stearns County, Gruber said, but the resolution approved by the Sartell City Council on Dec. 12 is an encouragement to the county to come up with the best possible alternative for all concerned.