2nd Ave SW bridge improvement set

Rachel Kytonen

With the approval of the 2nd Ave. SW bridge improvement project, residents will no longer have to worry about a 15-mile detour when travelling along Hwy. 95 in 2013.

During the Cambridge City Council meeting, Monday, March 7, the city approved a contract with Lunda Construction for $1,302,451 for the 2nd Ave. SW bridge improvement project.

The council awarded SEH with the construction services agreement on the bridge project for a cost of not to exceed $161,500. City Engineer Todd Blank, from SEH, explained the contract is based on an hourly rate, with the not to exceed price of $161,500.

Finance Director Caroline Moe said Wednesday that total construction costs for the 2nd Ave. SW bridge project, including the engineer’s fee and required testing, will be $1,477,451.

The 2nd Ave. SW bridge improvement project, that crosses over the Rum River and is located near Cambridge City Park, is expected to begin in May and be completed by October. This improvement project will eliminate a major detour when the Hwy. 95 bridge project happens in 2013. - Photo by Rachel Kytonen

The city received $611,417 in state bonding funds to help pay for the cost. Blank said just that day, he was notified the city received another $35,000 in state bonding money, that brought the total to $611,417.

The city’s portion of total project costs will be $866,034. Moe said with savings from its last three closed-down projects, and with long rang planning budgeted for this, the city will be paying cash for the project.

The Hwy. 95 Rum River Bridge project, just west of Cambridge, is set to be completed in 2013. If the 2nd Ave. SW bridge hadn’t been able to be improved, residents travelling along that stretch of Hwy. 95 would have been detoured south, and then would have had to travel back north to re-connect with Hwy. 95. It was estimated to be an approximate 15-mile detour in both directions for travelers.

Moe said getting the 2nd Ave. bridge project completed will be nice for travelers and the business community in avoiding a detour.

“I really hope the business community understands what a great thing this is being able to get the bridge completed,” Moe said. “I think everybody, including residents, businesses, Heartland Express, and others, were cringing at the thought of a 15-mile detour when the Hwy. 95 bridge is being worked on in 2013.”

Blank said the SEH engineering contract is based on a 22-week construction period, and will provide on-site observation during construction, led by Steve Rose, who is a MnDOT certified bridge inspector.

Blank explained the bid from Lunda was $52,000 above the engineer’s estimate, but noted the second closest bidder was $4,000 within the Lunda bid, so he feels the city received fair bids on the project. He noted bridge reconstruction project costs are hard to estimate.

Construction on the 2nd Ave. SW bridge is expected to begin in May, and be completed in October. The bridge was built in 1922 and is classified as structurally deficient. It doesn’t have any pedestrian accommodations so pedestrians must walk in narrow traffic lanes.