Weather Forecast


Willmar, Minn., city committee supports scaled-back option for Lakeland Drive project

WILLMAR — The Willmar City Council's Public Works/Safety Committee is supporting a scaled back and less costly option for the Lakeland Drive sewer and roadway project because some of the originally proposed work is not needed right now.

The committee met this week with Brian Bollig of Bollig Inc. of Willmar. His engineering firm and AE2S of Grand Forks, N.D., were hired by the council to design the Lakeland Drive project.

Bollig asked the committee to clarify the scope of the work to enable the consultants to proceed with their tasks.

The original scope called for replacement of the sanitary sewer lift station at the MinnWest Technology Campus, replacement of a force main and gravity sewer line along Lakeland Drive, Lakeland Drive reconstruction, and new railroad crossing quiet zone and bike path.

After estimated costs climbed higher than anticipated, Bollig/AE2S were authorized to investigate the condition of the gravity line, which officials were thinking of replacing. By using a televising system, they found that most of the line, built in the 1950s, was in relatively good or fair condition.

The investigation found concrete chunks in the line, possibly placed there by contractors doing past projects, said Bruce Peterson, city planning director and interim public works director. He said the chunks would have to be dragged out in order to televise the remainder of the line, but he said the line still maintains decent flow.

As a result of the analysis, it appears that Lakeland Drive reconstruction will not be necessary at this time, but a mill-and-overlay would give the roadway another 10 years of use, said Peterson who recommended the low-cost option.

"We looked at total reconstruction because we thought the entire line needed to be rebuilt,'' he said. "Without that need there, the (need for) total reconstruction of the street doesn't exist either.''

Bollig prepared four options discussed by the committee ranging from $10.2 million to $5.8 million. The committee selected the lowest cost option but eliminated some roadway reconstruction tagged at $1 million, which reduced the favored option's estimated price tag to $4.8 million.

The option approved by the committee calls for replacing the lift station, which serves Country Club Drive and Eagle Lake; replacing the deteriorating force main, which brings sewage from the lift station to a point where sewage can flow by gravity to the south; new bike path; mill and overlay; and design for signals and railroad crossing quiet zone improvements.

All four options called for replacing the lift station and force main but offered various combinations of work associated with the overall project.

"The lift station and force main have to be done,'' said Peterson. "The other options were presented to adjust the scope of the project so that we can change our contract with Brian and better define exactly the direction his firm is supposed to take.''

Committee member Steve Ahmann suggested on-street parking on Lakeland Drive possibly be removed and Lakeland striped with turn lanes where traffic is heavy between U.S. Highway 12 and Becker Avenue.

Bollig said he would investigate the request.

The committee's recommendation will be considered by the full council Monday.

David Little
David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
(320) 235-1150