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Wright County to review status of two Franklin Twp. roads

May 19, 2008

By Ivan Raconteur
Staff Writer

Franklin Township has asked Wright County to consider taking over two roads that it believes have evolved to the point that they belong on the county road system.

During Tuesday’s board meeting, County Engineer Wayne Fingalson reviewed the minutes of the May 7 transportation committee of the whole meeting.

During that meeting, Franklin Township Supervisor Bill McMullen said the township believes Brighton Avenue and Farmington Avenue should be made part of the county road system.

Fingalson said both roads were included on a list of roads identified for possible jurisdiction change on the county’s 1994 transportation plan.

McMullen said the increase in traffic on Farmington Avenue warrants the county taking it over, and the township board is unanimously in favor of this, and would be willing to share maintenance of the road for a few years to help with the transition.

Fingalson said the road was blacktopped in 1992, and is currently rated as a nine-ton road. It meets all standards for a county road except for the curves and shoulder width.

A traffic count was taken, and showed that there were 750 vehicles on the road during spring break, and 1,521 vehicles per day using the road when school was in session.

McMullen expressed concern that the road is being used as an unofficial detour during the Highway 12 construction project, and traffic volumes are increasing.

Fingalson said the preliminary cost estimate to upgrade 3.5 miles of Farmington Avenue is about $850,000 per mile.

With regard to Brighton Avenue, no traffic count has been done, but there is concern that traffic will increase next year when railroad trestles are closed due to construction of Highway 12 west of Delano, and traffic is detoured to Brighton Avenue.

Franklin Township Supervisor John Czanstkowski said township residents are already complaining about dust generated by traffic on the road.

Commissioner Jack Russek said traffic is likely to increase even more if the road is paved, but at least dust wouldn’t be an issue.

Fingalson said a preliminary estimate to upgrade Brighton Avenue is $1.725 million, including $450,000 for right-of-way acquisition, and $1.275 million for construction.

Fingalson said roads must be brought up to county road standards in order to be included on the county system.

The board approved the recommendation from the committee of the whole to include the two roads on a road tour, which is set for Thursday, June 26 at 9:15 a.m. to allow the commissioners to become more familiar with areas of concern.

The road tour is expected to take until 3:30 p.m. to allow the board to inspect a number of road issues across the county.

Odds and ends

In other business, the board:

• scheduled a joint work session with the Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose School District Monday, June 23 at 6 p.m.

• approved dust control for Braddock Avenue at a cost of $2,000.

• approved changes to two committee assignments as a result of Commissioner Karla Heeter’s decision not to seek re-election in November.

Commissioner Elmer Eichelberg will replace Heeter on the regional radio board, and Commissioner Jack Russek will replace her on the owners’ committee for the new jail project. Heeter requested the changes, noting that both groups are involved in complex issues, and it will be helpful to have the commissioners assigned to these groups involved now so they understand the issues as they move forward.

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