By Ivan Raconteur
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN The McLeod County Highway Department is planning to move forward with reconstruction of CSAH 23 east of Lester Prairie.
Project engineer Tim Becker provided an update on the project during Tuesday’s board meeting at the Silver Lake Auditorium.
According to Becker, the project has been on the county’s five year road improvement plan for about four years.
The purpose of the project is to bring the road up to state aid standards.
The project involves reconstruction of about 1.25 miles of CSAH 23 from McLeod County Road 9 to the eastern county line.
The sharp curve within that section is currently considered deficient, and is rated at 45 miles per hour.
The curve will be realigned and, when complete, will be rated at 55 miles per hour, Becker said.
Shoulders will also be added to bring the road up to state aid standards.
Becker said the road is currently at a 10-year flood level. The project involves raising the roadway about two feet to bring it up to 25-year flood level.
“The existing pavement surface has deteriorated to the point where we needed to do something,” Becker commented.
The final plans are not yet complete, but Becker said the estimated cost of the project is $1.6 million.
The county has already secured $720,000 in federal funding for the project. This is not part of the recent stimulus package, but was secured a couple of years ago by County Engineer John Brunkhorst, Becker said.
He added that the remainder of the cost of the project is expected to come from state aid funding.
This does not include the cost of moving the existing power transmission line that runs along the road, Becker said.
The line is owned by Great River Energy, and will have to be moved to accommodate the reconstruction project and expanded right-of-way.
Moving the power line would be a local cost, Becker said.
He expects to receive a cost estimate from Great River Energy for relocating the line by the end of April. This may include a cost sharing agreement between the county and Great River Energy, Becker said.
Commissioner Ray Bayerl asked if the county could save money by moving the road rather than paying to relocate the power line.
Becker said he will check into this and get back to the board with cost estimates.
The project will require 50-feet of right-of-way to the north and 60 feet to the south.
The county will need an easement from the McLeod County Rail Authority for the Dakota Rail corridor on the north side of the road, and will need to acquire right-of-way from 13 parcels that are affected by the project.
The board approved hiring Wilson Development Services of Chaska for right-of-way acquisition at a cost based on time and materials not to exceed $71,400.
The board also approved an amendment to the county’s contract with StoneBrooke Engineering for an additional cost of $14,947 related to the project.
Bayerl asked if Carver County still plans to move forward with reconstruction of the portion of the road in Carver County.
Becker said this has been discussed in the past, but Carver County does not plan to do so at this time.
When asked if the county plans to make any improvements to the portion of CSAH 23 west of County Road 9, or any changes to the intersection of CSAH 23 and County Road 9, Becker said the current plan has been scaled back from the original proposal.
“We will not be changing the current configuration of the intersection,” Becker said.
He added that the county may do a mill and overlay project on CSAH 23 west of County Road 9 at about the same time as the reconstruction to the east is being done, but this will not be part of the same project.
Work on the reconstruction project is expected to begin in 2010, with paving completed in 2011, Becker said.