by Logan Gruber
Demolition is winding down on the CR 3 Up the Hill project. And while funding may be in question from the state, Sauk Rapids is ready to keep moving forward.
“We are ready to build this road in 2016. We are hoping we can,” said Sauk Rapids City Administrator Ross Olson during the Sept. 28 city-council meeting.
The project, which is set to break ground in spring 2016, will carry a price tag of about $12 million. Benton County has received $1.8 million in federal funding, including $700,000 for a right-of-way purchase. The county and city have asked the Minnesota legislature for additional funding, but the funding isn’t guaranteed.
“There are lots of different sources of funding for a project like this,” Olson said. “They are complex.”
The first part of the project, the removal of trees, homes and out-buildings, doesn’t rely on that funding, though, and has gone forward without a hitch after the Benton County Board of Commissioners voted July 14 to approved the bidding and relocating of those houses.
“The houses being moved needed to happen,” Olson said. “The city has readied itself for our portion of the project . . . I’m hoping they report back very soon on whether or not they will move forward.”
Benton County Engineer Chris Byrd says the project has been in the works for at least two years. There’s been a strong need for a widened road and new pavement.
The volume of traffic through Second Street N. has been increasing during the past 10 years. A wider road will accommodate future traffic and economic growth in Sauk Rapids.