Road projects spread across Isanti County

Greg Hunt

A busy 2011 road construction season will be seen around Isanti County, reported County Highway Engineer Richard Heilman.

Nearly 8 1/2 miles of improvements will be tackled on seven county projects and one MnDOT project. In addition, a temporary traffic signal will be placed at the Hwy. 95 and Co. Rd 14/70 intersection on the west side of Cambridge to deal with the 2nd Ave. bridge replacement across the Rum River.

Heilman received approval for the projects at the April 6 Isanti County Board meeting.

The longest road work will be 2.7 miles of resurfacing on Co. Rd 14 between Co. Rds. 6 and 3, and 2.0 miles of Co. Rd. 45 between Co. Rds. 9 and 5.

A left-hand turn lane will be created at the Co. Rd. 10 and 5 intersection west of Isanti.

Heilman added the county will resurface Co. Rd. 54 from Co. Rd. 4 to Hwy. 107, with the plan to turn that road back to the city of Braham.

A two-year project begins on one-third of a mile of Co. Rd. 45 south of the Mud Lake curves (north of Cambridge Middle School).

That stretch near a peat swamp will be widened and filled, with the fill allowed to settle for a year before the road is paved in 2012.

Heilman also updated the board on MnDOT’s request to utilize Co. Rds. 7, 39 and 40 for a detour route when work is done on Hwy. 47 later this summer. Approximately 1,000-feet prone to frost boils roughly 1 1/2 miles north of Bradford will be resurfaced.

That project could take up to three weeks to complete, added Heilman.


County’s health rankings

During the Isanti County Health Board meeting, Public Health Director Kathy Minkler shared Isanti County’s rankings compared to other Minnesota counties, based on 2009 statistics.

Out of the 85 counties participating in the survey, Isanti ranked 33rd in overall health factors– up from 50th the year prior.

The county was 22nd in Mortality (total years under age 75 lost to death), 66th in Health Behaviors, 53rd in Social & Economic Factors, and 67th in Clinical Care (based on uninsured adults, primary care provider-to-residents ratio, and health screening participation).

Under “Health Behaviors,” adult smoking was at 23 percent (4 percent higher than state average), adult obesity was 27 percent (close to state average), and excessive drinking was 24 percent (4 percent higher than state average). The reported sexually transmitted infection rate was 110 cases/100,000– less than half the state average. But the motor vehicle crash death rate was at 22/100,000– nine points higher than the state average.

“I would really like to see us work on alcohol issues in the near future. I know we have the ‘Toward Zero Death’ program in place, but we could really improve our margin of deaths under age 45 which are related to alcohol,” said Minkler.

In other action, the board:

• Approved a resolution proclaiming April as “National County Government Month” to salute the essential public services offered through the county. The spotlight theme for 2011 is “Serving Our Veteran, Armed Forces and Their Families.”

• Approved the receiving of a $5,900 Boat & Water Safety Grant for the Sheriff’s Office. Nate Putbrese and Ashton Erickson were hired for the seasonal Boat Patrol positions.

• Accepted the resignation of 36-year Family Services financial specialist Mary Dorow, effective May 1. More Personnel actions: resignations accepted from Katy Carlson (part-time jailer) and Scott Manske (part-time bus driver).