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Baxter City Council: Members adopt roadway project assessments, with caveats

BAXTER--Baxter City Council members voted unanimously to adopt the assessments of the 2018 mill and overlay and full-depth reclamation project--though, they nixed the Cedar Scenic Road portions from the resolution, pending more concrete cost esti...

A satellite image of the area where most of the roadway construction initiatives are slated to take place. Aerial photograph / Google Earth
A satellite image of the area where most of the roadway construction initiatives are slated to take place. Aerial photograph / Google Earth

BAXTER-Baxter City Council members voted unanimously to adopt the assessments of the 2018 mill and overlay and full-depth reclamation project-though, they nixed the Cedar Scenic Road portions from the resolution, pending more concrete cost estimates.

The project looks to revamp 2 miles of roads in residential and commercial portions of the city: Cedar Scenic Road, Circle Pine Road (from Memorywood Drive to Cedar Scenic Road), Emily Road, Emily Circle, Kelly Drive, Kelly Circle and Parkwood Drive (from Highway 48 to 50 feet north of Mountain Ash Drive), Parkwood Circle, Flintwood Drive and Wedgewood Road (east of Parkwood Drive).

In addition, the project entails the full-depth reclamation of properties located on College Road (from Highway 371 to 280 feet west of Cypress Drive) and reconstruction of properties located on Cedar Scenic Road (from city limits to 1,000 feet east of Baxter Drive north of Highway 210).

In a general sense, the city is looking at stripping pavement and replacing it with new pavement, as well as expanding the roads in some portions, crafting new embankments and other topographical changes.

Anderson Brothers Construction Co. had the low bid out of three offers for the project at $1,653,413.80-although none of the bidders were aware of developments that came to light shortly before the meeting Tuesday, June 19. A soil study indicated a previously unknown concentration of peat along Cedar Scenic Road needs to be removed for construction to continue.

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Council members are waiting on more concrete estimates for how much peat will be removed and how much Anderson Brothers will charge-specifically, whether a 26-foot or 40-foot width of peat will be removed-for the implementation of a wider road all the way into the city while the rest is rebuilt.

"We haven't seen the final numbers so we haven't made a final determination on it yet," council member Quinn Nystrom told the Dispatch after the meeting. "It was more, we're just saying, 'We're moving forward with the project, we're not going to delay it because the road has gone to crap. We have to do it.'"

With this in mind, council member Todd Holman said they were including a measure to replace the provisions for 8-foot shoulders with expanded efforts to excavate and remove the peat from the area. How much it will cost to remove this peat-furthermore, how that relates to project costs as a whole-has yet to be seen and the city is awaiting more information to come to light, Nystrom said.

Tom Bercher, a resident of Lake Shore who owns properties on Cedar Scenic Road, questioned the expansion of Cedar Scenic Road and city efforts to reshape the roadway-especially in terms of trails and planned outlets for connecting roadways into neighboring townships.

"Have you ever thought about saving the city money? ... That road project is going to be 40 feet wide, with two trails on each side, connecting to nothing. It's the trail to nowhere," said Bercher, who speculated only 5 percent of Baxter taxpayers had even driven on that portion of the roadway. "We're raising that road, it's not necessary. You could redo that road and it needs a repair. You could probably save the city $200,000 by not going into the wetlands. It really makes no sense."

Details of the project

The city proposed picking up 54.4 percent and special assessments bringing in 45.96 percent. Following are listed the proposed improvements and changes the 2018 mill and overlay and full-depth reclamation project looks to address:

• Cedar Scenic Road: 40-foot wide street with 12-foot drive lanes.

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• Flintwood Drive: Remove full pavement and replace with 3.5 inches of bituminous, assessing the cost for 2 inches with the city picking up the cost for the difference.

• Circle Pines Road, Emily Road, Kelly Drive, Kelly Circle: All proposed for a mill and overlay by removing 1.5 inches of existing pavement and replacing it with 2 inches of new pavement.

• Parkwood Drive, Parkwood Court and Wedgewood Road: Proposed for a mill and overlay but existing pavement is less than 3 inches in many areas making a regular mill and overlay not an option, engineering firm WSB reported. Pavement will be removed to the full depth and replaced with 3.5 inches of new pavement. Remaining storm sewer improvements from a 2002 project in the Parkwood Drive area are part of this project. The city plans to pay the difference between the normal mill and overlay of 2 inches of pavement to get to the full depth of 3.5 inches.

• College Road: Work includes reclaiming the existing pavement and underlying aggregate base down to 12 inches. Six inches of new pavement is planned to create a 10-ton road design. All curb and gutter will be replaced. The paved trail on the south side of the road will be replaced. A storm sewer pipe from a pond will be lowered and is part of the study for future drainage improvements in the area, WSB reported. Concrete median repairs are part of the project and in some cases will be completely removed and replaced. Pedestrian ramps not compliant will be brought up to current Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

• Baxter Drive: Efforts include right of way acquisition of two parcels. Upgrades per ADA at the Highway 210 intersection will be made with the signal lights updated by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The update is in MnDOT's 10-year plan.

Baxter City Council members confer of the 2018 Mill and Overlay and Full Depth Reclamation Project -- a complex bevy of roadway initiatives that saw significant developments in the days leading up to Tuesday's meeting. Gabriel Lagarde / Brainerd Dispatch
Baxter City Council members confer of the 2018 Mill and Overlay and Full Depth Reclamation Project -- a complex bevy of roadway initiatives that saw significant developments in the days leading up to Tuesday's meeting. Gabriel Lagarde / Brainerd Dispatch

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