Board ‘paves’ way for federal funds

WashCo_logoMoney would go to county’s pavement preservation program

Christmas is coming in April for the Washington County Public Works Department.

The county could receive more than $1.5 million in additional federal transportation money the WCPW would use in the county pavement preservation program after the Board of Commissioners approved budget and capital improvement plan amendments Tuesday.

County Engineer Wayne Sandberg said the county’s share of federal money comes from $17.5 million the state Transportation Advisory Board allocated to each metro county based on the state’s aid distribution formula.

TAB re-allocated $28.8 million in unspent federal transportation funds in three programs in the 2013 fiscal year, according to a memo from Sandberg to the board.
The catch, Sandberg said, is the additional federal funds must be spent by the end of June.

“These dollars need to be spent in our region by June 30 of this year,” he said. “If not, these monies go back to the federal government for allocation to other states. The key here is these projects need to be authorized by June 30.”

Sandberg said projects in this year’s pavement preservation program are:

  • County Road 4 from the Anoka-Washington county line to U.S. Highway 61;
  • l CSAH 13 from CSAH 20 to Hargis Parkway;
  • l CSAH 7 from the county line to Irish Avenue and from Irish Avenue to CSAH 15;
  • l CSAH 9 from one mile north of Minnesota 97 to CSAH 7, and
  • l CSAH 75 from CSAH 21 to Minnesota 95.

The projects have a total cost of more than $5.734 million, Sandberg said.

The WCPW’s next steps to get the money are a project memo, cultural resources review and TIP-STIP amendments submitted to the state by Monday, Sandberg said.

Pavement preservation projects are a part of the WCPW’s strategy of repairing county roads before they reach a “worse-case scenario,” according to Sandburg.

“We talk a lot about red zone roads and how we get out of those red zone roads,” he said. “We trying to avoid a worse-case scenario.”

In other transportation-related decisions, commissioners:

  • Approved several work orders related to the $3.26 million Valley Creek Road concrete mill and overlay project from Bielenberg Drive to Interlachen Parkway and asphalt mill and overlay from Interlachen to Woodbury Drive in Woodbury. WCPW Transportation Manager Cory Slagle said remaining work on the project this spring includes road striping and upgraded signs and traffic signals, including flashing yellow left turn signals.
  • Approved a license agreement with the St. Paul Park and Newport Fire departments allowing the two departments to use the old Knox Lumber site for a rescue drill.WCPW Senior Planner Andy Gitzlaff told commissioners allowing the two fire departments to use the vacant Knox Lumber site for training is not unusual. He said the Washington County Sheriff’s Office used the building last fall for SWAT training.“They’re search-and-rescue drills. They’re not burning anything down,” Gitzlaff said about the fire departments’ training.
  • Also approved an agreement with Cost Planning & Management International, Inc., for construction management for the planned Newport Transit Station and an amendment with Stantec Consulting Services, Inc., to have Stantec remain on the Newport transit project.

“What this does is keep them on the project. It’s important to have continuity,” Gitzlaff said.