Baxter City Council members convened for a public hearing Monday, April 15, to discuss the 2019 Mapleton Road, Jasperwood Drive and Knollwood Drive area project.
Two members of the public attended the hearing-though neither opted to speak on the matter. After a presentation on the matter by civil engineer Aric Welch of Widseth Smith Nolting the council adjourned with no further comment and will vote whether to launch the project during the council meeting Tuesday, April 16.
Here's a rundown of the project as it's been conceptualized up to this point:
Centered around the construction of the new Baxter Elementary School, the projects look to restructure and recontour nearby, adjoining thoroughfares to account for increased traffic.
The site in question is about 40 acres. Nearby development includes Baxter city facilities, Forestview Middle School and single family residential lots.
After the report was presented last fall, the Brainerd School District indicated a preference for access to the new elementary school to come from Jasperwood Drive. In following discussions, the responsibility for improvements was transferred from the school district to the city of Baxter, according to the memo. The project was also expanded to include:
• A water main loop for the school.
• A pedestrian trail on Knollwood Drive's west side between Mapleton Road and the south entrance to Forestview Middle School.
• A Knollwood Drive trail between Mapleton Road and south Forestview Middle School entrance.
• A full-depth reclamation of Knollwood Drive, which means the existing pavement is recycled and included into the aggregate base course with new pavement applied. This will allow for a right turn lane at Forestview and two through lanes. It would also fix the curb and gutter as 80 percent was estimated as needed to be replaced.
• Stormwater treatment facilities along the east of Jasperwood Drive for future development of the city-owned property.
• Construction of a police dog training area about 270 feet long and 150 feet wide. The area is proposed between Jasperwood and the city's maintenance facility. The area would be graded flat with an earthen berm and trees for screening from Jasperwood. The site is being considered because the area used now is the site of the proposed new elementary school.
• Construction of an outdoor storage area about 250 feet by 200 feet for supplies and materials used by city departments.
• Construction of a drying pad, next to a backwash basin sludge dewatering pond north of the water treatment plant. Contractors then remove the sludge at the bottom of the basin each spring.
Welch said Jasperwood seems to more complicated the more they get into it. Now there are eight separate projects, which Welch said were separated based on the complicated mix of funding, cost splits, project types and various revenue streams.
The southerly 200 feet of Knollwood Drive is proposed as a two-lane divided section with mini roundabout at Mapleton Road. The traffic study estimated the 20-year average daily traffic count on Knollwood to be 2,206 vehicles per day.
A 12-foot paved non-motorized trail is proposed on Knollwood's west side from the south bus loop at Forestview to the Mapleton Road intersection. Similarly, a 10-foot wide trail is suggested to cross Mapleton Road and continue along its south side connecting to an existing trail to the south.
Jasperwood Drive would be widened to have two dedicated right turn lanes for the proposed elementary school on the west side and two dedicated right turn lanes to the city-owned land on the east side.
The traffic study provided a look at current traffic volumes for average daily traffic counts and what that is forecast to look like for a 20-year average looking at school trips and adjoining development.
• Knollwood Drive (south end); 1,200 (current); 2,206 (20-year average).
• Mapleton Road (west of Knollwood); 900; 3,582.
• Mapleton Road (Knollwood to Jasperwood); 1,700; 4,761.
• Mapleton Road (east of Jasperwood); 1,700; 5,837
The feasibility report lists two potential roundabouts on Mapleton at intersections with Knollwood and Jasperwood. Welch described them as mini-roundabouts that are smaller and a bit different from the ones in the city now because of their size and scope. The mini roundabouts would have two-way divided traffic lanes and an open center.
According to the feasibility report, the city's long-range plan it to realign the east end of Mapleton Road into a curve, replacing the four-legged intersection at Ironwood Drive and Mapleton Court.
• Mapleton Road, $744,430.
• Jasperwood Drive, $1.983 million.
• Elementary school water main, $180,050.
• Knollwood Drive trail, $39,200.
• Lift station realignment, $94,800.
• Knollwood Drive full-depth reclamation, $781,000.
• City property improvements, $558,330.
• South interceptor lift-station rerouting, $449,585.
• Estimated total project cost: $4,830,975.
Funding is expected from benefiting property owners, Baxter and Crow Wing County. For Mapleton Road, the cost share is projected to be 25 percent Crow Wing County with the rest going to Baxter, which would assess 100 percent of the cost to the Brainerd School District. For Jasperwood Drive improvements (road, trail, storm sewer, watermain, sanitary sewer), Baxter would pay $1.2 million with the school district paying $756,840. On Knollwood Drive, $5,700 would come from estimated residential assessments, $704,930 would come from the school district and $70,370 would come from Baxter.
The city of Baxter would pay for the other improvements, which were presented for consideration but are not required for the street projects, like the police dog training area, storage yard and sludge spot and Jasperwood Drive drainage basins. And the city would pay for the lift station rerouting costs.