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April 23, 2019

2/28/2019 2:58:00 PM
County Engineer: Department ready for winter to exit, preps for 2019

Chisago County has accepted its last delivery of road salt, and is at the max it can order tis season...so highway personnel are crossing their fingers that winter exits on a speedy note.  County  Engineer Joe Triplett said, “I think we’re sitting all right,” regarding the department responding to (hopefully not many) storms.  He added the lastmultiple bouts with snow left the plow operators needing a little break.

Highway Dept. activity early in 2019 also includes the awarding of a bid for consulting services on the future of Highway 8.

Triplett got the nod to hire SRF Consulting Group to proceed with safety and capacity improvement designs for Hwy 8-- between I-35 and Karmel Avenue in Chisago City.  The negotiated fee with SRF is $899,988.  The entire stretch of Hwy. 8 could reach $40 million in project costs, so the fee is 2.25 of construction costs, which Triplett said he is comfortable with.

Chisago County agreed to take the lead in delivering upgrades on Hwy 8.  It is a federal highway and the county will be continuing working with outside funding sources, such as the $3 million it was awarded by the legislature to jumpstart this final design process.

The exact staging of future highway projects “is going to be determined.”  triplett said it’s unknown if the first shovel of dirt will be turned in Chisago City and projects would head west, or begin in Wyoming and progress would advance to the east.

Triplett said one of the many factors contributing to SRF winning the pre-design contract, which will be instrumental in positioning the county for federal and regional road project funding,  was the firm’s pro-active philosophy and ability to involve the public.  He said, “Public involvement is a big part of the highway design.”
Chisago County was granted highway project layout and environmental documentation funding.

In North Branch, on Hwy 95-- Triplett says the round-a-bout scheduled to be installed at the extended Hemingway Avenue, is being “split out” of the whole project package. Hemingway needs to get going, as the extension  from near  County Road 14 to Hwy 95 is tied to a housing development in that area,  and the developer will start work soon, Triplett said.  The road needs to be ready to bid out in April, with the round-a-bout plan finalized for a mid-summer bidding.

~ The County Road 93 bridge replacement is prepared and bids will be opened in early March.

~ The new box culvert under County Road 39 in Rush City,  will be advertised seeking bids in March.  The actual road project will wait a bit.

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