No doubt summer is a busy time in the Brainerd lakes area-for businesses, for residents and for construction crews.
The city of Brainerd has several road construction projects on the docket this summer, from reconstructions to resurfacing to sidewalk additions.
Work has already begun on Northeast H Street, which is set to be reconstructed from Mill Avenue to 13th Avenue Northeast and to gain a sidewalk between Northeast First and Third avenues. A connecting sidewalk would then be built on First Avenue Northeast between Evergreen Avenue and H Street.
In the same area, 10th Avenue Northeast will be reconstructed between Washington Street (Highway 210) and J Street.
Brainerd City Engineer Paul Sandy previously cited several deficiencies with the roads, including severe potholes and cracks. H Street, he said, was built much wider than the city standard and often gives rise to speeding. The reconstruction will decrease the street's width by moving the north curb in 10 feet and adding a sidewalk to make it more pedestrian friendly. And because the street is so wide to begin with, no properties will be affected by the sidewalk addition.
Age is also an issue with 10th Avenue Northeast, as it was constructed in two segments in 1950 and 1955, with the last overlays done in 1988 and 1992. Along with the road, Sandy said the street's curb has reached the end of its life.
Benefits of the project, according to the city's website, include new driving surfaces, new curbs and gutters to promote better street drainage and a standard street width of 35 feet to promote slower speeds. On-street parking will be maintained on both streets.
Anderson Brothers Construction earned the contract for the project, with a bid of just under $1.02 million. Of that cost, the city will pay $371,556 from its construction fund for the 10th Avenue and First Avenue sidewalk portions, while $645,792 in state aid funds will cover the H Street portion.
Construction is estimated to be complete by Aug. 30.
Safe Routes to School
Also in northeast Brainerd, work has begun on the construction of several sidewalk segments around Garfield and Lowell elementary school as a part of the federally funded Safe Routes to School program.
The project, which furthers the goal of the Safe Routes to School program to develop safer routes for students to walk or bike to school, will see construction of the following sidewalk segments:
• North side of G Street between First and Third avenues Northeast;
• East side of 10th Avenue Northeast between Washington Street (Highway 210) and I Street;
• North side of H Street between Northeast Eighth and 13th avenues;
• North side of J Street between Mill Avenue and Ninth Avenue Northeast;
• North side of L Street between Northeast 12th and 14th avenues;
• South side of N Street between Mill Avenue and 14th Avenue Northeast; and
• East side of Ninth Avenue Northeast between N and Q streets (Memorial Park entrance).
Concrete Idea Inc. earned the contract with a bid of about $1.56 million. Federal funds will cover about 80% of the project, while state aid funds pay for the rest.
Work is estimated to be complete by Aug. 30.
Buffalo Hills Lane
Farther south, Buffalo Hills Lane is set to be reconstructed from Graydon Avenue to Mississippi Drive, along with reconstruction of Mississippi Drive from Buffalo Hills Lane to the dead end.
Buffalo Hills Lane was never constructed to city standards regarding grade and alignment, meaning existing subdivisions in the area were never assessed for the costs. During a public information meeting in October, Sandy said the time has now come when the city realized it is no longer fiscally responsible to keep sealcoating the road over and over and decided to construct it properly.
Other reasons Sandy cited for the project included substandard road construction and width, lack of stormwater facilities, lack of pedestrian accommodations and significant road surface distress.
Buffalo Hills Lane will be reconstructed with a 26-foot-wide road from curb to curb and two 13-foot-wide lanes. The north side of the road from Graydon Avenue to Crestview Lane will have a 5-foot boulevard of green space separating the traffic lane from an 8-foot-wide asphalt walking trail. The south side of the road from Crestview Lane to Mississippi Drive will have the same. The new trail will replace the current on-street parking spots.
Potential detours during construction would use Greenwood Street, Woodland Hills Lane, Crestview Lane and Ridge Drive, with residents crossing the closest street to their property.
Kraemer Trucking and Excavating earned the project contract with a bid of about $1.56 million. About 92% of the storm sewer cost will be covered with state aid funds, while the rest of the project costs will come from assessments and the city's construction fund. Residents living directly on Buffalo Hills Lane will get a base assessment of about $4,000, while those who do not have direct access to the road will have a base of about $1,500.
The assessment area includes property owners on Buffalo Hills Lane, Graydon Avenue, Mississippi Drive, Ridge Drive, Ridge Court, Aspen Court, Tanager Circle, Whippoorwill Lane, Blue Jay Court, Carol Lane, Crestview Lane, Norway Court, Woodridge Lane and Southview Court.
Contractors are set to begin work July 8 and an estimated completion date is Oct. 18.
College Drive and South 4th Street
College Drive will be resurfaced from Quince Street to County Highway 48, along with South Fourth Street from College Drive to South Sixth Street.
The project, set to start July 8 and estimated to be done Sept. 13, will seal the surface and repair localized potholing, lengthen the pavement life cycle, improve striping that is ground-in for less maintenance and add Americans with Disabilities Act compliant upgrades on Fourth Street.
The $625,000 project is in the city's five-year capital plan and will be funded through state aid funds.
For more information on this year's road construction projects in Brainerd, visit " target="_blank">bit.ly/2LmjGO7.