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North Brainerd construction project could be postponed

Material shortages mean the project might not happen until 2023.

Empty road with crumpled asphalt
A road construction project in north Brainerd might be postponed until 2023.
Theresa Bourke / Brainerd Dispatch
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BRAINERD — A road construction project planned for north Brainerd this summer might be put off for another year.

The project includes the reconstruction of portions of North Third, North Sixth, North Seventh and Juniper streets. Reconstruction means new street surface, new curb and gutter, upgraded storm sewer to help mitigate flooding issues and a new water main. A median island is also planned for North Sixth Street between Kingwood and Juniper streets, while pedestrian bump outs will be added to the intersections near Gregory Park where high pedestrian traffic is anticipated.

But with the challenges contractors have faced in getting materials for road projects, Interim City Engineer Paul Sandy told the Brainerd City Council’s Safety and Public Works Committee Monday, May 16, staffers requested bids for the project for 2023.

“I’m afraid if we wouldn’t have done that we wouldn’t have gotten anything because no one could have gotten materials for it in the timeframes we had the contract,” Sandy said.

Five bids came in for the project, with the lowest coming from DeChantal Excavating at a cost of $3,942,248.75. Council members unanimously accepted the bid Monday.

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That bid is about 2.28% over the engineer’s estimate, which is well within the 5% threshold Sandy said he typically hopes for.

“Right now, given the current state of price volatility, it’s actually amazing that we were able to get it within that 5% threshold, given the availability of materials and material shortages,” Sandy said.

After talking with contractors at DeChantal Excavating, Sandy said there’s a possibility of getting some materials in by August and finishing the first phase of the project this year.

“We’ll just need to keep an eye on that,” he said. “We don’t want to end up in a situation where we get into a project and we can’t finish a full phase before the end of the season and have an open construction project.”

In other business Monday, the council:

Ratified the hiring of temporary summer employees: Micah Wood, community development/code enforcement intern, $14 per hour; Denny Moore, adult softball umpire, $30 per game; Audrey Breen, concessions worker, $14.50 per hour; Cole Kubesh, parks maintenance, $15 per hour.

Agreed to donate $8,000 to Brainerd Community Action for the annual fireworks display. The money will come from the city’s special projects fund.

Approved an on-sale beer and wine license for Badeaux Restaurants LLC, doing business as Slice on Oak.

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More Brainerd City Council coverage
Gabe Johnson is running for a third term on the Brainerd City Council against challengers Emily LeClaire and Johnathan Miller.

Heard two people will interview for the community development director position May 24.

Approved a street closure request from the Here for Good market for 1-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays from June 8 - Aug. 31 on South Seventh Street between Front and Laurel streets.

Approved a street closure request from Brainerd Community Action for the Fourth of July celebration set for 6-11 p.m. July 4. The parade route will follow South Fifth Street to Laurel Street, turn left and continue to East River Road.

Authorized an agreement with WSB for design and construction services for the Safe Routes to School project near Harrison Elementary on Oak Street. The cost is $48,942.

Accepted a bid from Michels Corporation for sanitary sewer collection system repairs at a cost of $367,550.

Accepted a bid Short Elliott Hendrickson for construction administration services for the sanitary sewer repair project at a cost not to exceed $36,500.

Accepted a bid for the 2022 crack sealing project from Midwest Asphalt Maintenance at an amount of $14,823.90.

Accepted a bid from Anderson Brothers Construction for a reconstruction project on Greenwood Street at a cost of $93,546.90. This project will happen in conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s work on South Sixth Street this year.

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Authorized a master partnership agreement with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to allow both agencies to efficiently collaborate without having to enter into an agreement for every project. The master partnership contract allows for governmental agencies to purchase services, including equipment, data, testing and facilities, from one another.

Approved a request to rezone property at 1005 S Sixth St. from neighborhood business to medium density residential. The council also approved an interim use permit for property owner Rick Badeaux to operate one short-term rental unit out of the four-unit building.

THERESA BOURKE may be reached at theresa.bourke@brainerddispatch.com or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchTheresa.

Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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