Brainerd: Proposed northeast street projects to further Safe Routes to School initiative
Proposed street projects in northeast Brainerd would see the reconstruction of portions of H Street and 10th Avenue Northeast, along with the addition of sidewalks in the area to be built in conjunction with the city's Safe Routes to School initi...
Proposed street projects in northeast Brainerd would see the reconstruction of portions of H Street and 10th Avenue Northeast, along with the addition of sidewalks in the area to be built in conjunction with the city's Safe Routes to School initiative.
The goal of the federal Safe Routes to School program is to develop safer routes for students to walk and bike to schools. This project would help further that initiative near Lowell and Garfield elementary schools.
City engineer Paul Sandy presented the Brainerd City Council with a feasibility study on the projects during the council meeting Monday, Feb. 4.
The first part of the estimated $979,000 project is the reconstruction of H Street from Mill Avenue to 13th Avenue Northeast and the addition of a sidewalk on H Street between First and Third avenues northeast. A connecting sidewalk would then be built on First Avenue Northeast between Evergreen Avenue and H Street.
In a memo to the council Sandy cited several reasons for the need to reconstruct H Street, including deficiencies like localized potholing at intersections, severe cracks running along and across the street from curb to curb, perpendicular thermal cracks, high maintenance costs for pothole patching and sinking stormwater catch basins. And because the road was built 44 feet wide from curb to curb-much larger than the city's 35-foot standard-Sandy said speeding is generally an issue.
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. No properties will be affected by the addition of the sidewalk due to the street's width.
That sidewalk will connect with the existing H Street sidewalk from Mill Avenue to Fourth Avenue Northeast. Parking will still be available on both sides of the street.
"That should help with some of the speeding that's maybe perceived on H Street," Sandy said. "It is pretty excessively wide as it currently stands."
The full street reconstruction-which was last done on H Street in 1968-allows for storm sewer modifications needed for moving the north curb, along with important water main work Brainerd Public Utilities coordinated with the city to complete as part of the project.
Per a recommendation from the Walkable Bikeable City Committee, the project also includes a sidewalk on the south side of H Street from First to Third Avenue Northeast and a connecting sidewalk on the east side of First Avenue Northeast for about three-fourths of a block down to Evergreen Avenue.
"We chose the side of the street with the least amount of impact," Sandy said during a phone interview Tuesday. "There's three or four trees that have to come out, and that's really it."
Though this section of H Street is also wider than needed, the curb and gutter will stay where they are instead of moving in to accommodate a sidewalk because the road was resurfaced within the last 10 years.
This proposed First Avenue sidewalk will also connect to a Safe Routes to School sidewalk planned on J Street from First to Third Avenue.
10th Avenue Northeast
The reconstruction of a portion of 10th Avenue Northeast from Washington Street (Highway 210) to J Street is also part of the proposed project. The street was last reconstructed in two segments in 1950 and 1955, with overlays in 1988 and 1992.
Sandy noted several deficiencies to be corrected with the reconstruction, including numerous potholes, thermal cracks running the length and width of the street, and alligator cracking on the street, meaning the pavement's cracking pattern resembles scales, which is usually an indication a street is at the end of its life.
The curb on this portion of 10th Avenue has also reached the end of its life, Sandy wrote in his memo, so the most cost-effective option for the road is to replace the curb entirely, which will assist the Safe Routes to School project adjacent to the road. The curb and road design has been coordinated so new driveways and sidewalk crossings will match the new curb profile.
The city's cost for the H Street reconstruction and the addition of a sidewalk between First and Third avenues is estimated at $638,000, with about $537,000 of that cost being reimbursed by state aid funds. Another $186,000 worth of costs would then likely come from assessing property owners.
The 10th Street reconstruction is estimated at $267,000 for the city, with another $134,000 being assessed.
The sidewalk on First Avenue adds about $19,000 to the project, bring the total cost to $979,000 with an additional $320,000 worth of assessed costs and $537,000 in state aid reimbursements.
The city council scheduled a public hearing on the project at 7:30 p.m. March 4, during its regular council meeting.
The project's timeline is still up in the air, Sandy said, as staff is now working to submit plans to the Minnesota Department of Transportation for state aid funding and still has to go through the federal agreement process to secure federal funding for the sidewalk projects.