by Dennis Dalman
A portion of Pinecone Road is in rough shape and is badly in need of a facelift come spring, according to Sartell City Engineer Mike Nielson.
Nielson is an employee of WSB and Associates Inc., the city’s designated engineering firm.
At the Jan. 13 Sartell City Council meeting, Nielson said the section of Pinecone Road from 2nd Street S. to 15th Street N. is in bad shape due to frost heaves combined with wear and tear from extremely heavy traffic. It was hoped that sealing the cracks on that portion of the road would help, but recent checks showed that repair work did not prevent a worsening of the road condition, Nielson noted.
The rough condition is not surprising, considering the traffic count there is nearly 250-percent higher than what was estimated by the city in 1995. Nielson said it would be beneficial to do a study of the expected life of a mill-and-overlay project on that section of road. As part of the overall improvements in that area, WSB would also add a right-turn lane off of Pinecone Road into the Pepsi Arena and repair the much-used bike-and-hike trail from 2nd Street S. to 12th Street N. The entire Pinecone Road project would be funded by a combination of assessments, state aid and city funds, Nielson noted.
Pinecone Road was built in 1997, as was the sanitary sewer, water main and storm sewers. Those amenities, Nielson said, should last for at least 50 more years.
Sartell’s new Pavement Management System has already proved invaluable in determining the conditions of Sartell roadways, including the stretch of Pinecone Road that needs repairs. The PMS is based on an Overall Condition Index rating system from 1-100. Portions of Pinecone in that area are so riddled with cracks and frost-heaving problems they have been rated from 34 to 79 on the OCI. That segment of road was chip-sealed in 2008, and appearing and reappearing cracks have been sealed repeatedly since that year.
A traffic-count estimate when the road was built in 1997 was 2,595 vehicles daily on that stretch for the year 2015. Nielson noted an actual traffic count in 2011 showed a daily traffic count of 6,200 vehicles.
The city council at is Jan. 13 meeting authorized WSB to proceed with a “Pavement Evaluation and Lifecycle Cost” study at a cost to the city not to exceed $5,098. Other studies that will have to be done in the coming months by WSB include a “Feasibility Report and Assessment Calculations” (estimated at $4,278) and a “Stakeholder Meeting and Public Hearing” (estimated at $2,960).
The pavement along the problematic section of Pinecone Road will be analyzed in three segments – from 2nd Street S. to 2-1/2 Street N., from 2-1/2 Street N. to 7th Street N. and from 7th Street N. to 15th Street N.