‘Up the Hill’ project marches forward

Dave DeMarsNews, Sauk Rapids – Rice0 Comments

by Dave DeMars

news@thenewsleaders.com

The CSAH 3 or “Up the Hill” improvement project has been in the planning stages for some time, but the Sauk Rapids City Council received some good news at its May 9 meeting. Benton County Engineer Chris Byrd and Ron Bray, project manager from WSB & Associates Inc., made a presentation to the council as to what progress had been made on the project.

The project aims to improve mobility and safety along the Second Street roadway from Third Avenue to join the Hwy. 10 construction completed last year. This will also improve access to the Industrial Park, provide for pedestrian and bicycle travel, and provide better access to Hwy. 10 while at the same time improving pavement surface and drainage along the roadway.

Plans call for a widening of Second Street from Third Avenue to Hwy. 10. Roundabouts will be placed at Sixth Avenue and Summit Avenue. Estimated cost of construction including the legal and engineering fees as of Feb. 8 was about $6.9 million. Benton County would shoulder the greater cost burden of $5.75 million while the city would pay slightly more than $1.15 million.

Bids for construction companies willing to do the work were opened on May 9 with three of the four bidding below the estimated cost. The apparent low bid went to Landwehr with a $5.77 million bid. With the low bid, Byrd indicated there would be new divisions of costs with the county paying slightly more than $4.74 million and the city paying less than $1.1 million.

With new figures in hand, the construction is slated to begin May 31 with intermediate completion in early September. The final course of the reconstruction should be done in October 2016 or May 2017.

With the new information in hand, the motion was made and approved to fund the new “Up the Hill” project with the contingency Benton County approve the awarding of the bid and all Minnesota Department of Transportation requirements be met.

A public concern

Sauk Rapids resident James Zepelin expressed his concern about “the County 4 ditch,” that flows near his property. In the past there have been discussions as to what could be done with the ditch to abate the odor it gives off, particularly in the summer. Zepelin’s property is in the Benton Drive Addition.

The council referred the issue to Peter Eckhoff, the public works director, who said the situation was caused by the lack of flow if there’s not enough rain to keep the water moving. This is especially prevalent during times of drought and low water during the summer. Eckhoff said he would investigate to see what might be done about the situation.

Zepelin thanked the council and seemed satisfied with the response.

Other business

In other consent-agenda items, the council approved granting a temporary on-sale liquor license for the sale of 3.2 beer to the Benton County Agricultural Society; approved staff and council member attendance at the EDAM summer Conference; approved a change order to the 2015 Benton Drive Improvement Project; approved a reduction in Villages of Creekside fees; approved a minor revision to the Verizon lease on fire hall allowing a screening fence, approved grading and right-of-way for the Second Street project; and authorized change of electrical drawings relative to CSAH 3.

photo by Dave DeMars James Zepelin of 317 Fifth St. S. brought the issue of stagnant water and creeks that don't flow well during the hot summer months to the attention of the council.  Council directed public-works director to look into the issue.

photo by Dave DeMars
Sauk Rapids resident James Zepelin brought the issue of stagnant water and creeks that don’t flow well during the hot summer months to the attention of the council. Council instructed the public-works director to look into the issue.

photo by Dave DeMars Miles of creeks and streams populate various parts of Sauk Rapids eventually making their  way to the Mississippi River. The County 4 ditch is one of these streams.  During dry times it  drys  up and the odor is terrible said James Zepelin.

photo by Dave DeMars
Miles of creeks and streams populate various parts of Sauk Rapids, eventually making their way to the Mississippi River. The County 4 ditch is one of these streams. During dry times it drys up, and the odor is terrible, said James Zepelin, a resident who lives near it.

 

Author: Dave DeMars

Born and raised in Wisconsin – a “Happy Days” high school experience. Attended UW-River Falls and followed their motto – “Where the free spirit prevails.” Four years in the Army Security Agency (Spies), 31 years teaching English and directing plays. Other jobs – gandy dancer, counselor at mental institution, snowmaker, apple picker, concrete finishing, janitor, furniture mover, appliance sales, insurance sales, media sales, real estate, and writer. I am skeptical to a fault and like all human being I am more oxymoron than I am anything else. I blog at http://www.curmudgeonstwist.net/

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