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Cass city, county projects to be combined

WALKER — County Engineer David Enblom obtained Cass County Board approval Tuesday to combine city and county projects with Lake Shore and with Longville to save costs.

Lake Shore’s trail project will be combined as a joint project with Cass’s work on County State Aid Highway 77. Longville’s sanitary sewer project will be combined with Cass’s work on County State Aid Highway 7.

Enblom said there will be one construction plan and one environmental study in each case rather than two for each project, he said. Each city will still pay for its portion of the improvement and the county, its portion, he said.

Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) plans to replace a bridge in Longville once the city and county work is completed there – originally expected this year.

The bypass MnDOT planned during its construction work has too sharp a corner in it to permit school buses to use it, Enblom said. Because the city/county projects could put MnDOT’s work too close to the start of school next fall, he said, MnDOT now plans to move its bridge replacement into 2015.

Work on the tunnel under Highway 371 at the entrance to Walker is scheduled to begin next week and conclude by the end of June, Enblom reported.

The tunnel will serve as a connection under the highway for the extension from Paul Bunyan Trail into the city of Walker and as a pedestrian/ bicycle connection between the city park on Leech Lake and the U.S. Forest Service office, city community center and school to the south.

New turn lanes will be added to the highway.

Reierson Construction won the contract to complete the tunnel and make trail connections with a $921,881.72 bid.

Paying for the project will be money from the 3/8ths cent state sales tax, U.S. Forest Service, Cass County’s environmental fund and MnDOT.

The city of Walker will be responsible for maintaining the tunnel when completed.