(Alexandria, MN) The work along the State Highway 29 South corridor in Alexandria has become visible with some digging beginning this week. The TH 29 Sidewalk Construction Project includes the extension of sidewalk along the east side of TH 29 from 18th Avenue to 34th Avenue. Kirsten Plath of Widseth Smith Nolting is the project engineer. She says the sidewalk project should be completed by the end of October. The sidewalk will provide a safer route for pedestrians looking to travel north and south along Highway 29.
Alexandria Mayor Bobbie Osterberg says she's glad construction has begun. (AUDIO BELOW)
On June 14th the City Council authorized the advertisement for bids for the TH 29 Sidewalk Construction Project. Three bids were received, the low bid coming from Ferguson Brothers Excavating of Alexandria for $489,737.33 (see bid tabulation below). The engineer's estimate was $418,374. City engineer Tim Schoonhoven says cities throughout Minnesota are currently experiencing higher than expected bids due to uncertainties in the workforce. Despite that, Alexandria has secured nearly all of the expense of the project through LPP and Municipal State Aid grants. The primary source of funding for this project is from a Local Partnership Program (LPP) grant that the City previously applied for. Because of the unusual bidding climate, we were able to work with the MNDOT District 4 office of State Aid and secure additional LPP funding for this project. The amount of available LPP funding for this project was increased from $415,000 to $530,000. This additional funding greatly reduces the City's local share of the project. The City of Alexandria's share of the project is only $3,650 and will come from the Capital Improvement Fund.
The project funding breakdown is as follows:
Low Bid: $489,737.33
Total Engineering: $80,172.00
Total Project Cost: $569,909.33
(local Partnership Program –grant through the state)
Municipal state aid state grant pay majority
LPP Eligible Engineering: $29,384.24
Total LPP Eligible Cost: $515,471.57
Eligible MSA Engineering: $50,787.76
Locally Funded Items: $3,650.00
Total Project Cost: $569,909.33
2022 and Beyond
The plan is to continue the TH 29 Sidewalk Construction, from 34Th Avenue to 44Th Avenue in 2022.
Background: In September 2020, the City of Alexandria was informed that our Local Partnership Program application was selected for funding through the Minnesota Department of Transportation solicitation. This program will set aside $410,000 towards the construction cost of the extension of sidewalk south along TH 29 from 34th Avenue to 44th Avenue. A long-term goal of the City has been to provide pedestrian access for the entire length of TH 29 from the freeway to Third Avenue. Over the years we have worked together with MnDOT on a number of projects to close this gap. This proposed project would be the second in a series of projects to close the gap. This combination of projects will be a significant safety improvement along the TH 29 corridor and will provide a critical mobility connection where none currently exists. This project will provide a much-needed link between the Midway Mall/Viking Plaza commercial area and the Target/Walmart commercial area. This pedestrian link is needed as evidenced by the number of people seen regularly walking along the highway. All work on this project will be within the MNDOT right-of-way. This project will be scheduled for construction in 2022. The design work on this project is starting now to allow sufficient time to go through the wetland mitigation process.
Minutes from the August 23rd City Council meeting show the next step in this process is to authorize the engineering design of the 2022 project. Financial Impact The total cost of the project is estimated at $499,012. The Local Partnership Program funding is for $410,000. The remainder $89,012 will be paid through Municipal State Aid Funds. The total engineering cost is $80,204.
A recommendation was made for a motion to approve the engineering agreement for the TH 29 Sidewalk Construction Project between 34th Avenue and 44th Avenue. A motion was made by Council Member Thalman to approve the engineering agreement for the TH 29 Sidewalk Construction Project between 34th Avenue and 44th Avenue. Mayor Osterberg called for discussion and hearing none called for a second to the motion. The motion was seconded by Council Member Benson and passed unanimously.