Crumbling Woida Road segment has Baxter looking at options

A deteriorating section of Woida Road was before the council with an option for a mill and overlay road resurfacing with a look at what those costs could be to add water and sewer services.

Snow continues to fall at the intersection of Woida Road and Wildflower Drive Thursday, Oct. 22, in Baxter. Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

Whether to repave a deteriorating section of Woida Road or do a larger project had Baxter City Council members considering what the future may hold.

Namely, is a repavement that will last 20 years enough and whether development trends in the area are driving a more costly project with sewer and water? The issue first came before the council in July after Crow Wing County was looking at doing four other roads in the area and proposed to split the cost 25% county and 75% to the city. The city decided to look at the cost of a street project with sewer and water before making a decision.

The project area is for Woida Road starting at the intersection of Lynndale and Garrett lanes and extending east to Inglewood Drive. Screenshot

Baxter City Council members heard the review on the 2021 Woida Road improvements feasibility report during a workshop session Tuesday, Oct. 20, via Zoom.


Aric Welch, consulting engineer, provided the overview. The project area is for Woida Road starting at the intersection of Lynndale and Garrett lanes and extending east to Inglewood Drive. Zoning for the area is residential. The 24-foot wide road was constructed in 1989 and by measuring standards is in very poor condition, Welch reported.

“Something is going to have to get done with that road pretty soon or it is going to completely fall apart,” Welch said.

Extending water and sewer west means clearing trees to put in a 26-foot road with 18-inch ditches and to have a 33-foot road corridor. Cost is estimated to be $1.8 million. Broken down, those costs were $489,535 for water, $814,090 for sanitary sewer and $543,440 for roadway improvements. For this project, assessments for benefitting properties would be $4,635 for water, $4,635 for sanitary sewer and $6,180 for the roadway.

The city could assess $613,530 or about 33% of the project and have a city cost of $1,238,335 or nearly 67% of the project. Initial city costs would be $1.4 million with one parcel outside of the city limits now requiring an annexation or agreement with that property owner.

Working with the county for a resurfacing project is expected to cost the city $90,000 for the 75% of the total cost.

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Baxter city staff and council members meet via Zoom Oct. 20. Screenshot

Mayor Darrel Olson said the city was looking at potential costs but the discussion of additional costs if they added sewer and water was in no way an indication they were going ahead with the project.


Council member Todd Holman said at this point he views it as the project being ahead of the planning, looking at development in the area. Holman said he was more inclined to pave it and wait for a future date when annexation and growth questions may be more clear for that section of the city. Holman suggested working with the county to sign the road for no parking and for consideration of a bike lane.

“It just seems like there are so many unanswered questions to move forward with that huge city cost on the front end of it,” Holman said, adding he would still push for the county to consider paved shoulders and no parking.

Council member Mark Cross said he agreed with Holman to stick with just a road project but for perhaps different reasons as he was looking at the costs to the city and property owners. Cross said he was in the camp for just a road resurfacing not the bike lanes or extra pavement. Cross said he didn’t know how Baxter was going to keep affording the cost every time there is a city sewer and water road project.

“The road definitely needs to be repaved, it is horrible,” said council member Connie Lyscio.

Council member Zach Tabatt said the standard quality measurements appear to indicate the road will be down to dirt in a short time and he asked if a mill and overlay project would be enough for a road in such bad shape.

Welch said it would be lucky to get 20 years out of the mill and overlay on the road and with a resurfacing there would be just enough room for two driving lanes.

The council accepted the feasibility report at the council meeting following the workshop. Plans are to carry on the conversation in November to determine what the city is looking for in a mill and overlay project with the county.

Renee Richardson, managing editor, may be reached at 218-855-5852 or Follow on Twitter at


Renee Richardson is managing editor at the Brainerd Dispatch. She joined the Brainerd Dispatch in 1996 after earning her bachelor's degree in mass communications at St. Cloud State University.
Renee Richardson can be reached at or by calling 218-855-5852 or follow her on Twitter @dispatchbizbuzz or Facebook.
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