Cypress Drive construction project may begin this summer
The project extends Cypress Drive to connect with Highland Scenic Road in south Baxter, adds a roundabout and will alter access to Berrywood Drive.
BAXTER — Construction to extend Cypress Drive to Highland Scenic Road and create a new roundabout could begin in June.
The work would also alter traffic going into what may be a lesser known neighborhood to the east with a stretch of townhomes and pine trees lining both sides of Berrywood Drive.
The Cypress Drive project, which includes work on Douglas Fir Drive, in south Baxter will be back before the Baxter City Council Tuesday, April 4.
In mid-March, Scott Hedlund, Short Elliott Hendrickson project engineer, outlined the project and assessments for property owners with Berrywood Drive residents attending the meeting at City Hall. About nine people attended. Most of the questions revolved around how the assessments were determined and who decides what are the benefiting properties.
The project is expected to cost about $5.1 million with 43% of that assessed to benefiting property owners and the city of Baxter paying 33%. Crow Wing County is also participating and will pick up 20.6%, or a little over $1 million of the cost with the involvement of County Highway 48, also known as Highland Scenic Road.
The council adopted the assessments for Cypress Drive and Douglas Fir Drive work March 21. Next up is awarding the project to a contractor, which is on the agenda Tuesday with low-bidder Kraemer Trucking and Excavating Inc. of Cold Spring. A public information meeting is expected in May. Construction is expected to continue through September with the project completed by the end of 2023.
What the project proposes to accomplish:
- Redoing Cypress Drive, from Hinckley Road to 200 feet south of College Road, with a full depth reclamation, which means the existing pavement is ground up, compacted for a base and fresh pavement is put on top.
- Douglas Fir Drive, 340 feet south of Hinckley Road, roadways, trail, storm sewer, water distribution system construction.
- Sanitary sewer extension.
- Berrywood Drive trail extension (Cypress Drive and Hinckley Road intersection to Berrywood Park; trail construction.
- County Highway 48/Cypress Drive intersection, roundabout intersection, storm sewer and trail construction.
Berrywood Drive runs south of College Road going between Berrywood Apartments and Heritage Church and alongside Berrywood Park. As the street continues to the south past Hinckley Road, it runs through the townhome neighborhood before linking with Highland Scenic Road/County Highway 48. Cypress Drive currently comes to an end on its southern leg where it meets Hinckley Road, but the project will continue Cypress to Highland Scenic Road with a roundabout. The three-legged full-size roundabout is expected to be similar to the one on County Highway 48 and Isle Drive with a grassy center.
The street, trail and sewer work is going in by the new apartment complex currently under construction. The Pinehurst project is constructing five apartment buildings over five years to add 289 residential units and garage buildings in south Baxter. The apartment complex is being constructed on what was formerly undeveloped wooded land.
Berrywood Drive will be changed to a right in and right out with what is described as a pork chop median in the middle, off Highway 48. For townhome associations, there are costs from the property people own and their portion of the association owned property.
One of the Berrywood residents stated they weren’t even mentioned in the project until it came to contributing to the cost. “We’re trying to curb people that don’t belong in the neighborhood from using the neighborhood,” said Trevor Walter, Baxter public works director and city engineer. “So if anybody is coming from County Road 48/371 intersection to your house, they have to go up through the roundabout up Cypress Drive to Hinckley and then come back down so they won't be able to get in off of County Road 48. But that's supposed to keep the locals out of there, too, which has been a complaint for the last several years.”
One of the Berrywood Drive residents said it was more construction trucks being an issue instead of locals.
Brainerd Public Utilities will get a designated left turn lane to get into the wastewater treatment plant. Walter said in the future all of County Highway 48 will be a three-lane highway with a designated turn lane.
One question by a resident was whether the apartment developer was told they would pay for the road, sewer and water and roundabout on County Highway 48. Walter said the developer’s assessment for Campbell Development is about $1.4 million to be paid over five years with an estimated 8.5% interest contributing roughly 27.5% of the total project cost.
Other assessments have a 12-year payback period with an estimated interest of 8%. The interest rate will be determined when the city sells the bonds for the project. Benefitting property assessments are $2,359,511.36, with the city paying $1,688,571.47 and Crow Wing County paying $1,050,536.82. The entire project is expected to cost $5,098,619.65.
Renee Richardson, managing editor, may be reached at 218-855-5852 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchBizBuzz.