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Manning Avenue construction in the works

SRF Consulting Group, Inc. was hired to study a road project on County Highway 15 (Manning Avenue) from Interstate 94 in Woodbury, up to Highway 5 in Stillwater.

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The Washington County Board of Commissioners approved a $618,000 contract with the firm on May 28.

The project is a preliminary design study for the corridor and includes environmental documentation. The analysis will include the analysis of two roads intersecting with County Highway 15: County Highway 14 (Olinda Boulevard North) and Highway 5.

The current roadway has poor intersection alignment, lacks left-turn lanes, and may need additional lanes to accommodate future increased traffic, according to the county. There will also be a need to coordinate roadway needs with potential development in the area.

Project goals would be to improve safety, mobility, and capacity; add pedestrian facilities; make the roadway Americans with Disabilities Act compliant; and address drainage issues, county engineers said.

The goal of the project is also to review potential environmental impacts and limit impacts to surrounding properties.

The result of this project will be a municipally approved preliminary layout, completed environmental documentation, and a prioritized improvement strategy.

Upgrades coming to Government Center parking lot

The Washington County Board of Commissioners approved a contract with Hardrives, Inc., last week to upgrade county roads 62 and 63, which are in Oak Park Heights and Stillwater near the Washington County Government Center, as well as the parking lot at the Government Center.

The project will include new pavement, parking lot rehabilitation, storm water infrastructure, curb rehabilitation, utility improvements, sidewalks, and trails along the roadways.

Upgrades will cost about $2.5 million. County bond proceeds and funds from the city of Oak Park Heights will pay for the project.

The project will address the deteriorated pavement and utilities in the area, as well as lack of a pedestrian network to connect sidewalks in the area. It will also improve the existing surface parking lots at the Government Center, and vehicle and pedestrian flow.

Construction begins in June and should be completed in October.

Firm selected for Gateway Corridor environmental study

Kimley-Horn Associates, Inc., will complete a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the Gateway Corridor, after the Washington County Regional Rail Authority (WCRRA) approved the $2.9 million contract May 28.

The next phase in the development of the Gateway Corridor transitway is the preparation of DEIS. After a request for proposals was released in February, two bids were received, and Kimley-Horn was chosen by an evaluation committee.

The DEIS is required to comply with the National Environmental Act, to assure branches of government give proper consideration to the environment before undertaking a major federal action that could significantly affect the environment. The study looks at direct and indirect impacts on the social, economic, built, and natural environments. It takes into account such aspects as land use and transportation, air quality, noise and vibration, geology, water quality, and construction impacts.

The WCRRA will pay its portion of the cost, $2.13 million, with a grant from the Counties Transit Improvement Board. The Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority will pay $875,000 toward the project.

County to provide adult day training

Washington County will work with Midwest Special Services to develop a new adult day training and habilitation program site in Oakdale, after the County Board approved a contract with the agency Tuesday, May 28.

Day Training and Habilitation Services (DT&H) for individuals with developmental disabilities are mandated by the state after graduation from high school or at age 21. Midwest Special Services (MSS) is a licensed provider of DT&H and requested approval to locate a new program site in Washington County. The county continues to need this service for new graduates and eligible people moving into Washington County. Also, county residents who have family members with a disability have continued to request more choices in vendors that provide DT&H services.

Adding a site does not require any additional county expenditures. The program is funded partially by state and federal funds. Washington County expects to spend $1.8 million overall in 2013 for day training and habilitation services.

Board receives update on St. Croix River crossing project

Jon Chiglo, project manager for the St. Croix Crossing project, delivered a progress report to the Washington County Board of Commissioners May 28.

Chiglo has been providing quarterly reports to the board to keep commissioners apprised of progress on the bridge that will connect Oak Park Heights and the Wisconsin town of St. Joseph and the associated road projects.

Work got under way earlier this spring, with construction beginning on the bridge supports in the river. A no-wake zone has been established in the St. Croix River to protect construction work and workers.

Chiglo reported on road projects that will take place, including on Highway 36 from Osgood Avenue to Highway 95, which have begun. Work on frontage roads in the area is also under way. Chiglo said work on the Wisconsin road approaches will begin in the fall.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation has established a St. Croix Crossing Headquarters at 1862 Greeley St. S. in Stillwater. The hotline for additional information is at 1-800-462-7649, email may be sent to stcroixcrossing.dot@state.mn.us, a project website is at www.mndot.gov/stcroixcrossing.

--Riham Feshir

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