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City orders roadway rehabilitation without Eagle Valley sidewalks

Woodbury City Hall. File photo

WOODBURY — Plans for a $13 million roadway reconstruction this year will omit additional sidewalks for the Eagle Valley neighborhood.

The project, slated to break ground in May, will replace 19 miles of roadway throughout Woodbury's Eagle Valley and Wedgewood neighborhoods as well as City Centre Drive.

Roadwork will include resurfacing streets and curbs, replacing utilities and adjust signage.

City engineers expect the project to wrap up in October.

City Council approved a work order on the project at the Feb. 14 meeting after months of neighborhood meetings to gather residents' input.

City Engineer Tony Kutzke said a bulk of responses the city collected from Eagle Valley homeowners opposed more trails and sidewalks.

More than 80 percent of residents the city surveyed said their neighborhood doesn't need more sidewalks.

Tamora Peterson was among Eagle Valley homeowners who spoke against sidewalk implementation.

She said during a public hearing on the plans she was pleased to see most of the neighbors agreed.

"I think this community, in Eagle Valley in particular, is not in a position to have a retrofit road-narrowing sidewalk trail plan applied to it," Peterson said during the public hearing on the plans.

Although survey respondents overwhelmingly leaned away from additional trails and sidewalks, less than a quarter of residents responded to the city survey.

Doug Tigges, president of the neighborhood's homeowners' association, said a "silent group" of homeowners who believe more sidewalks could ease pedestrian safety concerns.

"I'm wanting to ask if we could somehow make Eagle Valley Drive and some of those other streets safer than they are today, but at the same time respect the wishes of the community," Tigges said. "I don't know if there is a good resolution for that."

Plans for the project would also remove stop signs from nine T-intersections on Heritage Way, Wellington Lane, Eagle Valley Drive and Cottage Grove Drive.

Kutzke said the city began efforts five years ago to remove stop signs at T-intersections about five years ago.

Studies found that stop signs in low-traffic areas can lead drivers to neglect stop signs throughout the city's roadways, Kutzke said.

"We find that there becomes a disregard for that stop sign and people are rolling through the stop signs," he said. "There isn't an expectation that drivers are going to stop at that stop sign."

Woodbury's street reconstruction and maintenance fund will cover about $7.7 million of the project, with money from the city's general and utility funds covering another $1.2 million.

Property owners will pay for the remaining $5 million through assessments.

Average assessments for single family homes will be about $2,650 in the Eagle Valley neighborhood and $1,350 per unit for multi-family housing.

Wedgewood residents will pay an average of $3,000 for single-family homes and $2,450 per unit for multi-family buildings.

Commercial plots in each area will be assessed for 100 percent of their frontage. The City Centre Drive section of construction will account for most of these with 12 commercial plots.

Construction will narrow the roadway by about six feet to 42 feet across three lanes.

Assessments for those properties will range from about $23,000 to $145,000.

Residents and property owners may appeal the assessments at an April 25 hearing.

The 2018 roadwork is part of the city's ongoing effort to resurface all of its roads by 2022.