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Bemidji moving forward with 2018 reconstruction and reviewing projects in the years ahead

BEMIDJI—The Bemidji City Council on Monday approved roadwork projects for next year and studied plans for five years beyond 2018.

During a presentation at the council's meeting, Public Works Director Craig Gray described the future of the annual street renewal program. The program, started in 2008, includes yearly projects that reconstruct sections of city streets.

Since it started, the program has reconstructed, renewed or paved 13 miles of city streets. Next year, the plan is to renew another 1.7 miles of road with projects on six streets, which will be paid for by a combination of street tax levy funds, utility funds and assessments.

Projects for next year include:

• Changing Bardwell Drive Northwest on the Anne Street loop from gravel to paved.

• Changing Richards Avenue Southeast from First Street to Fourth Street from gravel to paved, while adding a curb and gutter.

• A complete reconstruction of 24th Street Northwest from Irvine Avenue to Bemidji Avenue. The road will get new pavement, curb, gutter and driveway aprons. The existing water mains and services will be replaced. Also, the project will narrow the road from 39 to 34-feet wide to allow for a 5-foot concrete sidewalk on the south side.

• Reconstruction of 23rd Street Northwest from Park Avenue to Irvine Avenue with new pavement, curb, gutter, driveway aprons and a new water main.

• Reconstruction of 14th Street Northwest from Delton Avenue to Park Avenue, with new pavement, curb, gutter and driveway aprons. The existing sanitary sewer and water mains will also be replaced.

• Reconstruction of Minnesota Avenue from 26th Street to 29th Street with water main replacements. Also, the project will narrow the road from 40 feet to 35 feet to allow for a new 5-foot concrete sidewalk.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $1,942,369. The council approved the project's feasibility report Monday and set a public hearing as it includes assessments to property owners for funding. An open house is also scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 14 for questions on the project and assessments.

Looking ahead

For the next five years, Gray expects another 9.5 miles to be reconstructed, with the total reaching 22.5 miles by 2023. The total, according to city documents, would be 25 percent of the city's 92-mile street system.

The total estimated expenditures for the next five years of the program is $13,755,000. To help pay for the program, financial sources listed by Gray include $1.6 million from federal highway funds, $2.7 million from municipal aid construction funds, $1.9 million from water utility funds and $2.1 million from sanitary sewer utility funds.

For 2019, projects on the following roads are estimated to cost $2,351,000

• Pershing Avenue, from First Street East to Third Street Southeast.

• Eighth Street Northeast, from Bemidji Avenue to Lake Boulevard.

• Dewey Avenue, from Eighth Street Northeast to 10th Street.

• 12th Street Northwest, from Park Avenue to Norton Avenue.

• Minnesota Avenue, 15th Street Northwest to 16th Street.

• 16th Street Northwest, from Minnesota Avenue to Irvine Avenue.

• McKinley Avenue, from Third Street to Fourth Street.

• 30th Street, from Ridgeway Avenue to Hannah Avenue.

• Hannah Avenue, from 30th Street to Highway 197.

In 2020, projects on the following roads are estimated to cost $3,107,500

• Neilson Avenue, from Industrial Park Drive to Pioneer Street.

• Pioneer Street, from Exchange Street to Railroad Street.

• Mahnomen Drive, from Exchange Street to Naylor Drive.

• Naylor Drive, from Railroad Street to Mahnomen Drive.

• Gemmell Avenue Southwest.

• Wilson Avenue, from Third Street Southeast to Fourth Street.

• Industrial Park Drive, from Washington Avenue to Carr Lake Road.

• Middle School Drive, from Highway 197 to 23rd Street.

• Middle School Drive, from 23rd Street, from 15th Street.

For 2021, work on these streets is estimated to cost $2,548,000

• Delton Avenue, from 26th Street to 30th Street.

• 26th Street, from Delton Avenue to Irvine Avenue.

• 27th Street, from Irvine Avenue to Park Avenue.

• 27th Street, from Park Avenue to Delton Avenue.

• 28th Street, from Park Avenue to Delton Avenue.

• 29th Street, from Irvine Avenue to Delton Avenue.

• Fifth Street Northwest, from Irvine Avenue to Beltrami Avenue.

• Norton Avenue, from 22nd Street to 15th Street.

In 2022, projects on the following roads is estimated to cost $2,268,500

• McKinley Avenue, from Roosevelt Road to Paul Bunyan Drive.

• Ash Avenue, from 23rd Street to Paul Bunyan Drive.

• Lambert Drive, from Roosevelt Road to Paul Bunyan Drive.

• Second Street Southeast, from Kay Avenue to Scott Avenue.

• 15th Street Northwest, from Irvine Avenue to Bemidji Avenue.

• 15th Street Northwest, from Bemidji Avenue to Birchmont Drive.

For the final year of the projection, work on these streets is estimated at $3,480,000

• Beltrami Avenue, from Sixth Street Northwest to Fifth Street.

• Stoner Avenue, from Roosevelt Road to the city limits.

• 26th Street, from Irvine Avenue to Bemidji Avenue.

• Miles Avenue, from Roosevelt Road to Washington Avenue.

• Donald Avenue Southeast.

• Beltrami Avenue, from 15th Street Northwest to Sixth Street.

• Seventh Street Northwest, from Beltrami Avenue to Minnesota Avenue.

• Sixth Street Northwest, from Minnesota Avenue to Bemidji Avenue.

Matthew Liedke

Matthew Liedke is the city, county and state government reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. He also covers business, politics and financial news.

(218) 333-9791
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