BY GABE LICHT
FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, MN What should be done to repair 40th Street in Franklin Township?
During its Jan. 2 meeting, the Franklin Township Board learned of three possible answers to that question, ranging from estimates of $150,000 to $1.6 million.
Engineer Shane Nelson, of Hakanson Anderson, presented the results of a preliminary investigation he conducted of 40th Street.
That investigation and the results of eight soil borings show some areas have a large amount of organic material, such as peat, as deep as 23 or 24 feet, while other areas appear more durable. Nelson estimates there are unsuitable soils under about 1,500 feet of the mile-long road.
The most expensive option would be to remove the unsuitable soil, replace it with higher quality fill, rebuild the road with 4 inches of bituminous material, and replace culverts.
“If money wasn’t an issue, this is the best option,” Nelson said of the remedy with a $1.6 million price tag.
Another option estimated at $400,000 to $600,000 would be to surcharge the road, which involves placing about 2 feet of soil on the existing road bed for up to two to three years to compress the underlying soil before laying a new bituminous roadway.
“The problem is you still have peat under there,” Nelson said.
Another problem is that patching is typically needed within a couple years, as a large crack commonly occurs.
A third option estimated at $150,000 to $180,000 would be to remove the existing chip-seal surface and reclaim it into the underlying base, then adding two layers of chip seal. Low-lying areas would either be surcharged or the fill soils would be removed and replaced with lightweight fill or reinforced with a geogrid. Of that amount, $50,000 to $75,000 would be spent addressing the 1,500 feet of poor soils alone.
Supervisor Bill McMullen broke down the options.
“We don’t want to dig a hole to China and spend $1.6 million on a one-mile road,” McMullen said. “Even the $400,000 to $600,000 solution, while it’s nice, I think we’re better off with Option 3. We could do it every eight years and still come out ahead. I’m not saying we should; it’s just arithmetic.”
Resident Mark Bauman asked how much peat would be removed with Option 3.
“We’re not removing any peat,” Nelson said. “It would include money for a surcharge or geogrid. I don’t think it makes sense to dig down and disturb what’s there.”
Nelson said he has seen the strength of geogrid firsthand.
“In 2012, we reconstructed a road that had a geogrid,” Nelson said. “That part of the road was holding up better. It was built in the early ‘90s.”
Chairman DeWayne Bauman asked if adding 6 inches of granite would provide a good enough base for the double chip seal in Option 3, and Nelson said if it packs well, it would make a good base, with the exception of the wetland areas.
Bauman will look into the cost and availability of the estimated 3,900 tons of granite from Delano Granite Works. He will also talk to someone who has chip sealed a road using the new environmentally-friendly oil that is required in Minnesota to see if it would work in this case, as Todd Bartels, of Pearson Brothers, had previously advised the board that it would not.
In other construction-related business, the board accepted a proposal from Nelson for a new Meridian Avenue box culvert, contingent upon acceptance from Wright County. Engineering for the project, which is expected to cost $28,500. The township would be responsible for $10,000 of that amount.
Nelson had also reviewed Farmington Avenue, and said he noticed roughness, but no major defects that could result in a claim. He recommended fog sealing or seal coating the road. Seal coating is estimated at $22,000 to $26,000 per mile. Fog sealing costs less, but no traffic can be allowed on the road until the fog seal is set.
Nelson noted the Minnesota Department of Transportation recommends sealing the surface as early as one year after construction. Summer of 2017 will mark two years since the road was completed. The road would also need to be restriped after it is sealed.
The board noted that the weight restrictions will remain on Farmington Avenue until further notice.
Odds and ends
In other business, the board:
• discussed repairing or purchasing a new ditch mower. Supervisor John Czanstkowski believes the township should purchase a new mower, but will discuss it with the maintenance staff first.
• informed residents that they will need to purchase culverts through the township now, as the county will no longer sell them directly to residents, as of Jan. 1.
• discussed fuel tanks, noting that Centra Sota will waive lease fees as long as its logo is on the tanks. McMullen made a motion to solicit for fuel quotes, which passed.
• reported that a representative from Frontier Communications will be at the Feb. 6 meeting to discuss Internet service.