$1.7M Fourth Drive SW project set for fall; Work will be in two phases

Published 10:46 am Monday, July 25, 2016

A road construction project that garnered much discussion earlier this year is set to move forward this fall.

Last week, the Austin City Council unanimously approved a $1.7 million bid from Ulland Bros. Inc. to reconstruct Fourth Drive Southwest from the Turtle Creek bridge to County State Aid Highway 28 with a 34-foot road, an 8-foot trail on the west side and a parking lane on one side.

Work should begin in two phases this fall on city segments of the road, while a county portion of the road is slated for early next summer.

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The project, which came in below the estimated price of $1.96 million, will include utility, sewer, storm sewer and electric improvements before the road is rebuilt with a curb and gutter.

The city received a roughly $1 million grant for the work, while a remainder will be funded with assessments, sanitary sewer funds and County State Aid funding.

Earlier this year, residents voiced concerns about the widened roadway affecting their yards, trees, winter maintenance on the trail and flooding.

RAW Construction bid just over $2 million for the project.

First, an open house is planned from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Adams Fire Hall, 16 E. Main St., on Wednesday to learn more about the Highway 56 repaving project in 2017 that will affect the communities of Taopi, Adams and Rose Creek.

Then, an open house is set from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday in Austin City Hall, 500 Fourth Ave. NE., to learn more about the replacement of the 11th Drive Northeast bridge over Interstate 90, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Highway 56 repaving

MnDOT engineers and city representatives will be at the Adams Fire Hall to talk about the Highway 56 repaving, including timelines and detours.

Construction is expected to begin in mid-May 2017 and be completed in October 2017. The 16-mile project along Highway 56 in Mower County starts in Taopi and ends just north of Interstate 90. The purpose of the project is to replace the aging pavement and improve safety along the corridor. The project also includes reconstruction of the roadway in the city of Adams with sanitary sewer, water, lighting and drainage utility replacements.

The work includes grading, paving, storm sewer repair as well as guardrail installation along the route. Sidewalk replacement, landscaping and ADA pedestrian ramps will also be upgraded in the city of Adams. Businesses in Adams are being contacted and encouraged to attend to learn about access during the project and discuss the improvements recommended by the city of Adams.

11th Drive Northeast bridge over I-90

Engineers and others will be on hand at Austin City Hall to talk about the 11th Drive Northeast bridge project, including timelines and scope of the project.

In 2017, MnDOT is scheduled to replace the bridge over I-90. Work will include widening the bridge from six to 10 feet and including accommodations for pedestrians. The city of Austin and Minnesota Department of Transportation will split the $80,000 to $100,000 in additional costs to widen the sidewalk. The city will pay for its portion from its state aid account and potentially with the help of a Hormel Foundation Grant.

The plan to rebuild the bridge in 2017 is one of the first using Vision 2020’s plan to beautify the road through Austin. The bridge is also one the first being done under new specifications outlined in the Visual Quality Manual, which was developed by Vision 2020’s Gateway to Austin Committee and outlines ways to beautify the I-90 corridor through Austin with landscaping, bridge designs and wider sidewalks.

MnDOT urges motorists to always be attentive, drive with caution, slow down in work zones and never enter a road blocked with barriers or cones.