by Dennis Dalman
The annual spring flooding at the intersection of Pinecone Road and 2-1/2 Street might become a thing of the past if a new solution works.
The Sartell City Council has authorized a diversion project to keep snow-melt and rainwater build-up away from that soggy intersection. In spring and at times during heavy rainfalls, that intersection – one of the busiest in Sartell – has become a virtual lake.
Sartell Engineer Mike Nielson outlined the plan at its last council meeting. Part of the curb at that intersection will be removed, which will allow flood water to spill over into a shallow ditch (swale) so excess water will flow south, at an area east of the city-hall parking lot into an existing settling pond. One culvert would be installed.
Work will be done this summer, and Nielson said any contractor on the project will be requested to do the work around the summer events that take place in and around the city-hall area to minimize disruptions at those events.
Council member Steve Hennes said a short walking trail near the proposed swale should be taken out. That trail, he said, comes to an abrupt end along city-hall property next to Pinecone Road. It is, Hennes said, the “trail to nowhere.” It also encourages some walkers to cross Pinecone Road at a place where there are no lights or safe-crossing indicators, Hennes added.
Nielson and other council members agreed with Hennes, saying it could be easily done.
The cost of the project is estimated at about $86,000, but that will depend upon bids to be presented to the council in April for the council’s consideration.