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Cass County Board: WSB hired for Highway 77 construction

BACKUS--County Engineer David Enblom obtained county board approval Tuesday to hire WSB Inc. to oversee construction on the upcoming reconstruction of County State Aid Highway 77 through Lake Shore.

BACKUS-County Engineer David Enblom obtained county board approval Tuesday to hire WSB Inc. to oversee construction on the upcoming reconstruction of County State Aid Highway 77 through Lake Shore.

That firm has completed a preliminary design for the project.

They can complete the work for $1,197,539 if the county also does some of the oversight during construction such as testing bituminous and concrete materials to be sure those meet specifications.

Without the county doing some oversight, WSB would have charged $1,463,148.

The accepted lower charge will be slightly under 25 percent of the total project construction cost of about $5 million. Enblom told the board that percentage is what Minnesota Department of Transportation considers average.

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Hiring a different firm to do oversight from the one that had done preliminary design work also could have driven the cost higher, Enblom said. The county can obtain a reduced cost when the county has MnDOT do testing, a reduction not available to private businesses, he added.

Enblom also reported MnDOT has approved a county request for a variance on the road design.

The minimum standard speed design for rolling hills like those on CSAH 77 is 30 miles per hour. Because surrounding terrain and close proximity of development in the area only allows for a 20 mile per hour design, Enblom had to appear before a MnDOT variance board in St. Paul comprised of engineers and a few local government officials from across the state to get approval for the 20 mile per hour design variance.

The county board approved a request from the city of Cass Lake to lease at no cost to the city one stall in the old county highway garage in that city to house the Cass Lake Fire Department's old fire truck until it can be sold. The city has purchased a new truck.

Related Topics: CASS COUNTY BOARD
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