A project to improve the intersection at Highway 371 and County State Aid Highways 13 and 77 at Sportland Corners in Nisswa is on track to start after July 4, the Nisswa City Council learned at its meeting Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Crow Wing County staff are meeting with businesses and residents to discuss the improvements and needed right of way, according to a memo from Ron Bray, project manager with WSB & Associates civil engineering firm.

The project, estimated at $2.4 million, is slated to be done in three stages using a temporary signal light and will include adding left turn lanes from CSAHs 13 and 77 onto Highway 371. The stoplights currently don't offer green arrows for lefthand turns from either county road onto the highway.

The improvements are deemed necessary because of traffic that will result from the American National Bank being built off CSAH 13 and the expansion at Grand View Lodge off CSAH 77.

Preliminary estimates peg city costs at $250,000 for construction plus right of way cost related to the trail and a percentage of engineering cost for construction on the city's portion of items.

The project will be discussed further at the council's March 20 meeting.

Council member Don Jacobson questioned the city's estimated cost, saying when the city improves a road it doesn't ask the county to help pay for it. Mayor Fred Heidmann noted a county sales tax that is generating funds that he understood were to be used to augment the county's road maintenance budget.

The county implemented a half cent local option sales tax in April 2016 to raise revenue for road improvement projects in Crow Wing County.