A contract to install a new traffic signal and make other improvements at an intersection in Blaine was approved by the Anoka County Board Aug. 27.

The board approved a contract with Forest Lake Contracting Inc. for $420,192 for a project at Lexington Avenue Northeast and Woodland Parkway Northeast.

The bid, which was the lowest of four, was under the engineer’s estimate of $498,893. “That’s always good,” said Doug Fischer, county highway engineer and division manager for transportation.

There is no signal at the intersection right now, but traffic volume on both Lexington and the city street, Woodland Parkway, has grown to the point where it warrants a signal, according to Fischer.

A new housing development east of Lexington is one reason for the increased traffic, Fischer said.

The project will also involve construction of a new southbound right-turn lane — there is one on the northbound side of Lexington — and pedestrian ramps at the signal to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, he said.

The project is expected to be completed this fall.

The new traffic signal is needed because there have been a “lot of accidents and near accidents at the intersection,” Commissioner Robyn West said.

The board also approved a joint powers agreement with the city of Blaine for the project Aug. 27 spelling out the scope of the project and cost sharing. It has been approved by the Blaine City Council, but Blaine council members complained the county wasn’t paying its “fair share” and that the county policy should change for the future.

Fischer said that under long-standing county policy that applies to all traffic signal projects involving county highways and city streets, Blaine is responsible for 75% of the traffic signal cost — the two city sides and one the two county sides of the intersection.

The county will pay for its cost share from its annual state aid allotment from the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Fischer said.

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