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Riverside utility and street improvement project unveiled

Riverside project, Phase 1

By Anna Erickson

Park Rapids is moving ahead with the first phase of the Riverside area utility and street improvement project.

Jon Olson, with Apex Engineering Group, outlined the project at a public hearing Tuesday night. It covers an area south of Highway 34 between Highway 71 and Fish Hook River.

The project has been on the radar for years and was originally proposed at the end of 2010. After a public hearing in early 2011 the city council decided to delay the project after hearing opposition from many homeowners in the area.

The proposed project cost is estimated at approximately $2,696,400 with a city share of $1,341,400. The rest will be assessed to property owners in the area.

The existing sanitary sewer conditions are very poor. The pipes are likely pre-1940, Olson said. A video camera was used to examine the pipes in August of 2013 and the video showed joint separation, heavy root intrusion, sags, cracks and breaks. They require frequent maintenance.

The water main and storm sewer are also old throughout some of the area.

The proposed improvements include complete replacement of sanitary sewer, with PVC upgrades of the mains and replacement of services to the property lines.

Proposed water main improvements include upgrading mains to PVC on Washington and 3rd, looping the water main on 2nd and replacing services throughout the area to the property lines.

The project would also include street and sidewalk improvements. In several areas curb and gutter will be added, along with new sidewalks.

Water main and sanitary sewer replacement is 100 percent assessable for the standard size. Storm sewer is 90 percent assessable for standard size. Sidewalks are 50 percent assessable and street replacement is 60 percent assessable for standard size.

Average assessment amounts are estimated at $11,100 for a 50-foot lot on Riverside Avenue, $19,100 for a 100-foot Riverside Avenue lot, $29,000 for a Riverside corner lot, $20,900 for a 100-foot Washington Avenue lot and $15,900 for a 100-foot lot on 5th Street.

Several people attended the public hearing and asked questions about access to their homes or businesses during construction.

Olson assured them that contractors would coordinate regularly with property owners about access and likely have weekly meetings so people will know what is coming up next.

It will likely be a two season project.

The tentative schedule includes project design from April through June, bidding and then beginning construction in August.

Construction would likely be completed in July 2015.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561