County has long list of needed, complete projects
WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners got a look Tuesday at public works projects that have been completed this year, those that are under way and those that need to be done in the future. Meeting as the road and bridge committee...
WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners got a look Tuesday at public works projects that have been completed this year, those that are under way and those that need to be done in the future. Meeting as the road and bridge committee, the commissioners toured the northern half of the county, where several resurfacing projects of county roads were completed this spring.
A roller-coaster ride on the Tri-County road brought home the need for a new box culvert and extended shoulders at the bottom of a very steep hill. Because the culvert isn't in bad enough shape, state funding cannot be used.
But because the road is so dangerous at that point -- with steep drop-offs on both sides of the road into the drainage ditch, the commissioners may decide to use local funds to replace it. The $100,000 project is tentatively on the 2009 construction calendar.
The commissioners will meet Aug. 18 to put other projects on a five- to seven-year construction plan.
The commissioners also took a ride through Willmar's Industrial Park on a highway project that began last year.
With a $4.1 million price tag, the nearly mile-long, four-lane divided highway project could be completed within two weeks.
Crews were paving on Tuesday. After that is done, the road will need to be striped.
The commissioners urged Public Works Director Gary Danielson to hold a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the road, which is currently called County Road 47. When it is opened to traffic, it will be known as County Road 5.
The existing portion of County Road 5 -- south of Highway 12 and generally west of where the new road is being built -- will be renamed.
Drivers will have to make some adjustments to the new road.
Currently County Road 5 merges with U.S. Highway 12 at a "T" intersection for a short distance before veering south.
The current "T" intersection will become a four-way intersection.
There are a few concerns about safety as drivers make the transition to the new intersection.
Danielson is worried that drivers will fly over the railroad crossing at too high of a speed. It's currently posted at 45 mph.
Because the new four-way does not line up perfectly with the existing County Road 5 to the north, drivers on that section of road will have to change lanes to continue south onto the new four-lane section of road.
The project will, however, open up the former Willmar airport site for new industrial development and provide a straight-line commute along the west side of Willmar.
The commissioners on Tuesday also watched as crews used directional boring equipment near Nest Lake as part of the Green Lake Sanitary Sewer extension project.
The equipment allows wastewater collection pipes to be installed without digging trenches in residents' yards. Instead, metal extension pipes are inserted in the soil and spin parallel to the surface to create a tunnel underground. The plastic collection pipes, which are then drawn through the tunnel, bring sewage from residential grinder pumps to the large pipes that carry wastewater to the treatment center.
The system is being installed on Nest, George and Henderson lakes.
In other action, the commissioners identified sections of about a dozen county-state aid highways that will be marked as nine-ton roads.
County state-aid highways are owned by the counties but designated as part of a system of roads for which counties receive state money for construction, improvement and maintenance.
As a result of legislation passed this year, all county-state aid highways will allow 10-ton traffic unless marked otherwise. The new law went into effect July 1. The higher weight allowance applies after the spring weight restrictions.