10/3/2019 4:02:00 PM County Board gets update on roads and ditch projects
The road construction season is grinding to a halt, but the county roads department has plenty to do in the off-season. County Engineer Joe Triplett reports that his department’s role in a county ditch system benefit and alignment analysis is a couple months away from conclusion yet.
Triplett updated the County Board recently on the Highway 8 design effort and how he and transportation consulting staff had been reaching out to affected cities. The county has taken the lead on a plan to better-position Chisago County’s length of highway from Forest Lake to Karmel Avenue in Chisago City for federal funds. The county is working with consulting engineers on this using a state legislative appropriation of about $3 million.
Location and development of frontage and backage road sections are key in the final design and triplett said he wants to keep landowners along the highway in the loop as well as governing units.
He has also met with state Senate committee heads who oversee and make recommendations to get Hwy 8 in the forefront of the upcoming February 2020 legislative session.
Triplett mentioned the Highway 8 and Pleasant Valley Road (#26) roundabout (Center City) is getting the final touches for 2020. The question now is how to keep the highway open throughout the project, he explained. He meets with state engineering staff this week to look at “staging,” he said.
The state “is invested” in this highway, he assured the county commisisoners. Commissioner George McMahon echoed that-- saying there’s already a few million dollars from the state in use or earmarked for the future improvements.
In other locales: the County Road 25 project for next year, from 295th to the Washington County line, is in design. The County Highway 39 reconstruction and bridge replacement has about another week of work, with curb and gutter on the south half up next. The rainy weather hasn’t helped, Triplett added.
MnDOT is moving ahead on its Highway 61 improvements in Wyoming, and the county commissioners approved some minor easement acquisitions to facilitate the handicap cuts, intersection enhancements, etc.