Construction season is fast approaching its end, but that doesn’t mean that Norwood Young America has stopped discussing upcoming projects. The big one for next year, of course, is the mill and overlay project for 212, which will also be installing a pedestrian underpass underneath the highway. At the October 28 work session for the city council, the council heard an update on the upcoming project.
Kevin Jullie, PE for SRF Consultants, was the first to come to the podium to discuss the upcoming 2020 project. Jullie’s role has been to come to the council with updates about the project, especially in regards to costs. At this point, the designing phase of the project is coming to an end, according to Jullie. SRF itself has been working with MNDOT on structure options for the tunnel in order to ensure the safety of the users. Pilings will be placed for support, according to Jullie, instead of footings. This does increase the cost, but not much at all.
“Last time, there were some concerns about the cost, but I’m happy to report that they haven’t swayed that much,” he said. “They’re within the budget.”
The council received this information well, calling it good news in terms of the project as there were many concerns regarding the costs related to the project. What determined the change were the fact that this tunnel is underneath a popular highway and the soil structure that would surround it. The pilings would offer more support than just concrete footing, according to Jullie, and there will still be footings in place as well since the pilings allow for more flexible designing. All in all, according to Jullie, “a typical design for an underpass.”
Diane Langenbach, SouthWest Corridor Representative, was the next to come forward. According to Langenbach, Carver County requested that MNDOT make a “minimum investment” regarding the reconstruction between NYA and Cologne, as the expansion is coming in the next six years. However, some of the construction folks were hesitant with not doing the reconstruct, considering some of the soil issues in the area. What ended up coming through was a compromise: a widening of the road itself as part of the overlay. The three-inch overlay should last six to nine years, according to Langenbach, which considering that Carver County staff and MNDOT are working hard to fund the expansion project, should be a fine timeframe.
What this means for the citizens of NYA and Carver County is pretty uplifting, though: there won’t be a full three month closure of highway 212 because of this change. Instead, Langenbach supposed that there would probably be weekend and night closures, as well as lane closures as it’s still a repaving project. Or possibly a week closure to power through the project.
“It’s certainly a much lesser impact than the three month closure,” she said.
The other effect on NYA specifically is that the underpass could be constructed “half at a time”, meaning that 212 won’t be shut down in town either.
Options are still in the works, such as the possibility of a temporary signal at Reform Street, but there’s nothing confirmed as of yet. There will still be impacts coming, according to Langenbach, but nothing too big. According to a later press release, 212 through NYA will be reduced to two lanes throughout construction instead of four, which will cause some delays, but not as much as a full closure.
As for other 212 related projects, there will be a turn lane placed near Salem Road for Pattison Sand Company’s rail spur, which won’t shut down the road. There would also be a sign placed that would flash warnings at oncoming traffic that trucks are coming or turning into the area. The proposed J-turn near Bongard’s, which raised a concern during the work session, would likely be weekend shut downs according to Langenbach, but this project as well is getting some new updates even now.