Largest road project in Springvale Township history underway

One of the largest, most involved road paving projects in Springvale Township’s history is underway.

Michelle Kleven, Springvale Town Clerk, explained the road project on 341st Ave., Holly St. NW and Larch Street began in late October.

Several pieces of machinery is being used for the road construction project in Springvale Township. Photo by Michelle Kleven
Several pieces of machinery is being used for the road construction project in Springvale Township. Photo by Michelle Kleven

She explained in August 2010, David Pauly from the Department of Natural Resources, was present at a Springvale Township Board meeting to discuss a possible land acquisition of the Robert Kelly (Ditschler) property bordering the Becklin Homestead County Park/Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and requested approval of a new access north of Larch Street. The Town Board approved the request.

The Town Board also discussed the need of cul-de-sac to be built on the north end of Larch Street for the new Wildlife Management Area access and the cost involved. Pauly notified the town board of grant funding available to help with the costs of road improvements associated with WMA’s. In April 2012, the town board received $565,795 from the State Park Road Account to help fund the project.

“This project will save Springvale Township taxpayers from the high costs associated with maintaining one of its highest traveled gravel roadways,” Kleven said. “Approximately one mile of township road will be rebuilt and paved. We are all excited about this project.”

Kleven explained the road averages 230 cars per day.  Residents will no longer have to deal with the dust, vehicle maintenance, and the washboard of the road.  On Oct. 23, the park road project was awarded to New Look Contracting, Inc. from Elk River. Construction began Oct. 26, with the road project ending in late spring/early summer of 2013.

Background on the project

In December 2010, the Town Board approved a motion authorizing Kleven to apply for the State Park Road Account (SPRA) grant to improve the town roads which included: University Avenue, 341st Ave., Holly Street NW, and 345th Ave., Larch Street leading to the WMA.

In January 2011, the Town Board discussed the grant application with township engineer, Brian Miller from MSA Professional Services, and decided to remove University Avenue and 345th Ave. from the grant application because of the high construction costs. The SPRA grant application was finalized and mailed to the DNR.

In April of 2012, the DNR authorized Springvale Township’s grant request for funding through the SPRA in the amount of $565,790. At the May 2 Town Board meeting, the Town Board accepted the SPRA funding for town road improvements of 341st Avenue, Holly Street and Larch Street. Kleven noted the high cost of the project is due to the wetlands associated with the project.

One of the requirements of the SPRA grant is the township is required to pay all certified engineering costs in association with State Aid projects. The Town Board designated Miller as the town engineer for the park road project. The Town Board discussed funding for the engineering costs at a ‘no tax’ increase to the township residents. The Town Board decision will be to assess the property owners along the street improvement project, request funding from the Isanti County park fund and use funds designated for blacktopping town roads.

Kleven noted the project is made possible with help from the Springvale Town Board, DNR, Isanti County Highway Department (Richard Heilman and Jerry Schleicher), Isanti County Parks (Barry Nelson), Isanti County Zoning (Holly Nelson), Army Corp of Engineers, MPCA, MSA Professional Services and New Look Contracting, Inc.

Other County Road Projects

Isanti County worked on two big road projects this year; Co. Rd. 45 by Cambridge Middle School and Co. Rd. 9 in the southeast corner of the county, said County Highway Engineer Richard Heilman.

The Co. Rd. 45 project was a 1.8-mile stretch beginning in July 2012 that wrapped up and opened to traffic this fall. Heilman said the project included adding some turn lanes to improve safety.

The county continues to work on Co. Rd. 9, a 5-mile complete reconstruction project. Most of the earth work has been completed and paving is currently underway, Heilman said. A detour is in place and construction crews will work until snow comes, but the road will open to traffic in the winter.

Heilman said they’ll continue the project in the spring and they’re hoping for a mid-summer 2013 completion.

“It’s very important to try and keep a safe and efficient transportation system for the county so our residents can move throughout the county in a safe manner,” Heilman said.