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Bemidji City Council: Council to set hearing for roadwork

A plan to change the layout of state Highway 197 on the south end of town will require a public hearing in the coming months.

The Bemidji City Council will consider Monday a request from the Minnesota Department of Transportation to set a public hearing on the project.

The City Council will convene at 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall.

According to a letter from MnDOT district design engineer William Pirkl that is included in Monday's agenda packet:

MnDOT has proposed that Highway 197, running south from Lueken's Village Foods South to U.S. Highway 71, will be reconstructed to have two driving lanes in each direction and a center left-turn lane.

North of U.S. Highway 2, the road would become a divided four-lane highway.

A new bridge has been proposed for crossing over Highway 2. Northbound traffic on Highway 71 would utilize the new bridge while southbound traffic would continue to use the existing bridge, which would be rehabilitated.

The divided four-lane highway would continue south of the Beltrami/Hubbard county line and become a two-lane road. A center turn lane is planned about one mile north of Hubbard County Road 9 (the Nary road) and would continue throughout the duration of that intersection.

The City Council must hold a public hearing, which has been proposed for June 15, and then approve a resolution supporting or opposing the design plan. Or, the city could choose to waive municipal consent.

Construction is planned for 2010.

If the plans presented now are approved, there would be no initial cost to the city. But, if the city chose to improve or expand utility systems in the area, that work would the city's responsibility.

City Park plans

The City Council also will consider the hiring of Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. for the reconstruction of Bemidji City Park.

Kimley-Horn, with a bid of $392,800, would finalize the design of the project, prepare bidding and construction documents, bid the project and provide construction services and close-out services, according to council documents included in Monday's agenda packet.

Four companies responded to the city's Request for Proposals:

-- Brauer and Associates/Freeburg and Grund for $352,173.

-- Kimley-Horn for $392,800.

-- Karvakko Engineering for $402,000.

-- Widseth Smith Nolting for $501,187.

A selection committee comprised of two City Council members, four Parks and Trails Commission members, a skate park representative and two staff members interviewed two firms as finalists: Kimley-Horn and Karvakko Engineering.

Kimley-Horn was chosen as the favored firm because of its experience in overall park planning and athletic field expertise, and because of the inclusion of Site Design Group Inc. of California, which has experience in skate park plaza design, according to council documents.

BREC bid

Another bid will be considered for work on the Bemidji Regional Event Center.

Clinton Gronhovd with Kraus-Anderson, the project manager, has recommended that the council approve a $74,999 bid for resinous flooring from Advantage Coating Inc. out of Chaska, Minn.

It was the lowest bid of four received.