by Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer
Public Works Director Steve Backowski has a full schedule of Morrison County road construction projects lined up for the 2014 season. The highway improvement plan was approved by the County Board at a recent meeting.
Two projects included in the initial plan will be delayed. Mill and overlay to both County State Aid Highways (CSAH) 26 and 54 in Royalton are being held back pending word about the city’s Safe Route to Schools application.
“Some of our work will be incorporated into that project,” Backowski said. “We’re going to wait to tie it all together. We’re trying to avoid doing anything over.”
A bridge project on CSAH 1 in Rosing Township going into Cass County is relying on $192,000 of bond money for the project to commence.
“We have no commitment that we’ll receive this money in 2014,” Backowski said. “What happens in the legislature will play a big part of that, but the application is in and the plans are completed.”
Backowski said he is pretty confident that the funding will go through, but if it doesn’t he will have to try again in 2015.
The bridge is slated to be redecked with some work on the abutments at each end of the bridge.
If the project is funded, the proposed detour will take drivers from CSAH 1 across CSAH 28 to the west to U.S. Highway 10. It would then follow US 10 to Motley and CR 210 to Pillager.
“We encourage people to use a slightly different route,” Backowski said. “If they would not use CSAH 1 and just take US 10 all the way to Motley, it would be quicker and easier for them.”
County Road (CR) 281 in Ripley Township between CSAH 48 and CSAH 49 will receive tight paving and surface overlay.
CR 213 in the city of Little Falls, a one-mile section from Trunk Highway (TH) 27 north to Ninth Avenue Northwest (also called Paul Larson Memorial Drive) will receive some mill and overlay and curb repair.
CSAH 36 in Agram and Buckman Townships from CSAH 34 north to TH 27 will receive tight paving and surface overlay.
CSAH 53 in Bellevue Township from the Benton County line north to CSAH 34 will receive new culverts, mill, tight paving and overlay.
One half mile of CR 235 in Buckman Township from the Benton County line north to CSAH 26 (Nature Road) will be resurfaced.
Several projects will be focused in the southeast corner of the county.
“We want to concentrate the work in certain areas of the county,” said Backowski. “Once a contractor comes into an area, he can produce materials as efficiently as possible and more economically if the projects are close. Detours get expensive with all the signing. It’s better to put the inconvenience in one spot at a time.”
Projects in that area include CSAH 26 (Nature Road) from TH 25 at Little Rock to CSAH 33. Culverts in those 11 miles in Buckman, Morrill and Lakin Townships will be replaced with milling and resurfacing of the road.
“There will be some curb and gutter replacement in Morrill,” Backowski said.
CSAH 29 and CSAH 30 in Morrill Township from the Benton County line north to CSAH 26 will get new culverts and paving.
“This ties in with Benton County’s previous work,” Backowski said.
CR 243 from the Benton County line to CSAH 26 will have just culvert work done.
CSAH 32 in Lakin Township from CSAH 33 to Mille Lacs County line will have culvert work done and a road surface overlay.
“Most of our work focuses on preservation and not complete reconstruction,” said Backowski.
Routine maintenance will occur county-wide as various roads receive improved pavement marking. Some roads will have dura-patch of cracks, while routine rubberized crack sealer will go in other areas.
Calcium chloride application will continue on gravel roads.