Chiglo briefs County Board on bridge work

Commissioners award bid on Third Street paving project

Gazette photo by Erik Sandin
Jon Chiglo, MnDOT’s porject manager on the St. Croix River bridge project, presents an update on the project Tuesday to the Washington County Board of Commissioners. Chiglo will give the board quarterly updates on the project. Work is slated to start next May and be completed by 2017.

St. Croix Crossing Project Manager Jon Chiglo and the Washington County Board of Commissioners are going to get to know each other really well over the next four years.

Chiglo made the first of what will be quarterly visits with commissioners Tuesday to brief them on the progress of the four-year St. Croix River Bridge project Chiglo manages for the state Department of Transportation.

Topics Chiglo touched on during his presentation included design, bidding and work schedules, some changes in bridge design and MnDOT opening a project office in Oak Park Heights where MnDOT and contractors will work out of together.

Chiglo said MnDOT started its design-build procurement process Aug. 30, one week after the Oak Park Heights City Council approved a resolution consenting to work along Minnesota 36 as part of the Minnesota approach to the new span.

Chiglo said “four to five teams are pursuing” the project and requests for proposals would be sent to teams in late October or early November.

“This will not be based solely on low bid. It will be based on quality,” he said.

Bids specifications for the approach work on state Highways 36 and 95 are scheduled to let in February, with construction starting in May and finishing in the fall of 2014, Chiglo said.

“We’re trying to work on ways to have the frontage roads constructed in that first year,” he said, adding that work would be done on MN 39 and 95 in 2014.

Minnesota 36 and 95 and the frontage roads will all have single-line traffic during construction and 12-day closings are set for the Greeley, Oak Green and Osgood intersections at MN 36, Chiglo said. But he stressed that the intersections would not be all closed at the same time and MN 36 would stay open to traffic.

“Traffic will not be detoured on 36,” he said.

Chiglo also said work on the Wisconsin approach has been accelerated, with bids on the western half of St. Joseph side of the river let in 2013 and construction starting in 2014.

Another cost saving in the estimated $580 million to $675 million project Chiglo cited is a bridge design with five instead of six piers. He said having five piers means only 60 shafts — 12 shafts per pier — would be needed.

“To eliminate a pier would be a savings in the millions,” he said.

Chiglo said the bridge design should be done in the spring and bids let in the fall. Work on the new span would start fall 2013 and take three construction seasons to complete, he added.

“We’ll be using a sequential approach to constructing this bridge,” Chiglo said. He added that method has bridge parts constructed near the site, then brought to the construction site from either the Minnesota or Wisconsin side as determined by the contractor.

Chiglo said once the St. Croix Bridge is completed in 2017, MnDOT will convert the Stillwater Lift Bridge to a pedestrian and bicycle crossing as part of a loop trail that covers Minnesota and Wisconsin.

“Where are we at with costs,” asked Commissioner Gary Kriesel.

“We’re doing a good job managing costs,” Chiglo replied. “I think we’ll be in very good shape in terms of the budget.”

Chiglo also admitted that area businesses, already hit with the three-month closing of the Stillwater Lift Bridge by MnDOT for repairs, would also be affected by St. Croix Bridge-related work.

“There will be an impact with this project,” he said. “It takes a long time to build these things.”

In other transportation-related items, the commission:

n Awarded Hardrives, Inc., the mill and overlay project on CSAH 23, or Third Street from Orleans Street to 423 north of Willard Street in Stillwater.

Besides the pavement work, $715,000 project includes storm sewer repairs, improving pedestrian crossings and creating a snow-removal area, said County Engineer Wayne Sandberg. He added that the county worked with Stillwater city officials to maintain on-street parking and the residential characteristics of the neighborhood.

Hardrives will begin work on the project this month with completion in November, Sandberg said.

Although the original project estimate was more than $680,000, Sandberg said rising asphalt prices likely pushed the bids higher.

“We may have undervalued our estimate,” he said. “In this project, concrete was looked at, but bituminous was the better option.”

The Third Street project is the first of a four-phase reconstruction of CSAH 23. Phase two is repaving Orleans Street from Third Street to Fourth Avenue in 2013; Third Street from Walnut to Chestnut streets in 2014, and Orleans to Pickett Street in 2015.Jon