roadwork construction sign generic

The city of Coon Rapids will improve 6.6 miles of residential streets this year after awarding two contracts April 20.

The project is divided into two parts with two different contractors.

Work is expected to begin in mid-May and wrap up in October, City Engineer Mark Hansen said.

The city hosted virtual open houses for both phases via Zoom on Oct. 14, 2020, and Jan. 27. The council approved the advertisement for bids Feb. 16.

The city awarded the contract for the first phase to Rogers-based New Look Contracting Inc. in the amount of $3.3 million — about $251,000 under the engineer’s estimate. This phase accounts for 3 miles of roads and includes streets within the Shenandoah Oaks and Nature’s Cove neighborhoods.

“The streets in these neighborhoods have not been replaced yet,” Hansen said. “They (Shenandoah Oaks) were originally constructed ... in the mid-1980s. So that’s about a 35-year life cycle, so that’s pretty good. We have some streets that have lasted longer than that, and some that lasted much less than that.”

Nature’s Cove streets are a bit younger than Shenandoah, Hansen said.

The second phase of the project is 3.6 miles of city streets.

That contract went to Northdale Construction Company Inc. in Albertville for $5.39 million — about $1 million under the estimate.

Improvements for the residential streets include resurfacing the streets with layers of bituminous pavement after reclaiming the existing pavement. The work also includes replacement of damaged curbs and gutters, sidewalk and pedestrian curb ramp improvements to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, replacement of water main valve and hydrants, repairs to existing storm sewer and sanitary sewer where needed, and LED streetlight upgrades.

“We feel that we will be addressing the biggest potential for issues,” Hansen said.

The city determines which streets to improve each year by asking public works staff where they spend the most time filling pot holes and making repairs, Hansen said.

Once the projects are complete, pavement will be about 3 inches thick, which should give streets about a 10% longer lifespan compared to the current 2-inch thickness, Hansen said. It also allows the opportunity for a mill and overlay improvement in the future, he said.

Streets crack easier when winters have more instances of freezing and then thawing, rather than staying consistently frozen, according to Hansen. He said the city has seen more freezing and thawing recently.

The city won’t host the usual neighborhood meeting due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but residents will receive a notice in the mail regarding the projects, Hansen said. Construction updates will also be provided on the city’s website.

Some funding for these projects is coming from the city’s water system and sanitary sewer maintenance funds, storm water utility fund and the street reconstruction fund.

Half of the funding for street reconstruction comes from property taxes, and the other half comes from special assessments to benefiting properties.

Properties that will be assessed for the project include 276 single-family residential homes and 30 townhomes. The reconstruction assessment rates approved in December 2020 are $2,154 for a single-family home, $28 per front foot for multi-family residential properties, $55 per front foot for commercial properties and $70 per front foot for industrial properties.

“While it’s no comfort when the bill comes, the Coon Rapids assessment rate is quite a bit lower than surrounding communities,” Council Member Wade Demmer said.

Property owners can choose among three options for paying their assessments.

They can pay the entire assessment amount between May 5 and June 4 with no interest, pay assessment plus interest between June 5 and Nov. 15, or do nothing and add the assessment to future property taxes with interest.

Hansen said the city has done a benefit analysis for street projects and found the projects add about $4,000 to $5,000 to property values.

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