Road construction season gets underway in city

State, county officials brief council on several projects

OAK PARK HEIGHTS — Now that winter is over, Minnesota’s second season has arrived in Oak Park Heights.

State Department of Transportation and Washington County officials briefed the Oak Park Heights City Council on St. Croix River Crossing-related work and several county road projects set for this year and 2014 in the city.

MnDOT St. Croix Crossing Project Manager Jon Chiglo said work has started on several bridge-related projects and residents can expect to see that work increase next month.
“As we move into June, you’ll see more activity on the river,” he said.

Contractors are currently clearing trees in the bridge approach area near 56th Avenue, which was closed Monday, and in the area just east of Phil’s Tara Hideaway, where they are building a parking lot and extension of the frontage road east of Osgood Avenue.

In addition, MnDOT engineers and contractors devised a solution to relocating a sanitary sewer line that does not involve seeking an easement from Sunnyside Marina, Chiglo said. Acquiring an easement from Sunnyside was not part of the project bidding process, he added.

Original plans called for that sanitary sewer line to cross Minnesota 95 into Sunnyside, then turn south to the Metropolitan Council’s regional sewage treatment plant, Chiglo said.

The new plan calls for the line to run south along railroad tracks and MnDOT land and tie into the treatment plant, Chiglo said.

“It takes all the sanitary sewer (line) off the critical path,” he said. “We believe it satisfies all the criteria we set forth. It’s a positive change for many reasons and I don’t believe it adds to the cost. This was all resolved in about a week’s worth of time.”

Other bridge project work includes coffer dam construction in the river for bridge pier foundations and what Chiglo said will be summer-long tree clearing and approach work in the area east of Osgood Avenue.

The only problem Chiglo mentioned are residents walking through the construction area near Minnesota 36 and 95 and Stagecoach Road.

“We closed those roadways and the area and we ask residents to stay out of the area,” he said. “It is not property they can access. Signs have been posted.”

But when council members mentioned that people have walked in the area for years, Chiglo said MnDOT would consider adding more signs.

County Public Works Department Project Manager Cory Slagle updated the council on several county road projects planned this year and 2014.

One project this year is a $2.5 million pavement rehabilitation and parking lot project on 62nd Street and Oxboro Avenue at the county’s Government Center, he said.

The county also plans to replace a temporary parking lot constructed during the Government Center remodeling with a permanent lot, Slagle said. Bids on that project were opened Tuesday and came in at the project estimate, he added.

Contact Erik Sandin at [email protected]