by Dennis Dalman
Sartell will combine a Safe-Routes-to-School sidewalks project with planned street improvements (Westside Reconstruction Project) in the same area.
The City Council decided that at its Oct. 8 meeting after hearing recommendations from Sartell City Engineer Jon Halter. Halter presented a feasibility study drawn up by the engineering firm of which he is an employee – Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc.
The city received a $250,000 grant for sidewalks from the Safe-Routes-to-School program. The sidewalks project, Halter said, should be done in conjunction with the streets project because doing them at the same time would be the most cost-efficient. Doing one before the other would involve having to undo part of one, later, to install the other.
The sidewalks are scheduled to be installed on one block of 2-1/2 Street, on one block of Second Avenue and along three blocks of Fifth Avenue N. The sidewalks will only be along one side of each street.
The sidewalks-and-streets project will be done next summer. A big part of the project will involve edge-milling, overlay and re-striping Seventh Street all the way from Pinecone Road east to CR 1 (Riverside Avenue). That busy road leads past the current high school and middle school. The project in that general area will also involve sewer and water-main improvements, such as replacement of old clay and iron pipes.
There will be major reconstruction on two blocks of Fifth Avenue and one block of Second Avenue. The total cost of the project, including the grants, will be about $2 million.
Another proposed part of the project will be the changing of the yellow flashing lights warning of pedestrians. For example, one of the flashing lights will be moved north to the crossing to Pinecone Central Park. There is a $57,000 grant to cover that cost, Halter noted.
At the suggestion of council member Ryan Fitzthum, the council and Halter agreed it would be best to wait until after the new high school is built and traffic patterns are analyzed before deciding where the yellow flashing signals should be placed. The one by Pinecone Central Park, however, will be installed as scheduled.