Unexpected utility line increases cost of trail extension

Repave from North Branch to Wyoming nearly complete

Larry Johnson of Janke Construction grinds the top of the sheet-piling smooth Aug. 9 at the trail extension near Riverwalk Park. 
Duane Perry, left, and Patrick Hilkey check out the progress at 275th Street as the paving crews nears the end of their project at Highway 95 in North Branch Aug. 9. 
Photos by Joe Sausen
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Duane Perry, left, and Patrick Hilkey check out the progress at 275th Street as the paving crews nears the end of their project at Highway 95 in North Branch Aug. 9. Photos by Joe Sausen

The extension of the Sunrise Prairie Trail from downtown North Branch to 410th Street was going according to plan until work began on the segment that will run along Riverwalk Park.
“Janke General Contractors started the project in early May and has completed all of the base work for the trail north of the Riverwalk Park entrance. The area south of the park entrance encountered an issue of a utility line being in conflict with the designed location of the wall sheeting resulting from the engineering plans not showing the private utilities on the plans,” according to an Aug. 8 memo from North Branch’s GIS Specialist Nate Sondrol to the City Council.
Due to this issue, Sondrol asked the council at its last regular meeting to approve a change order to the project, which the council supported unanimously.
“They’re going to have to relocate the sheeting wall closer to the roadway,” he said. “It requires curb and gutter and storm sewer for that trail to be closer to the roadway, based on design standards that we have to adhere to.”
The total cost of the extra work on the project comes in at $114,234.
In early 2016, the city was notified it had received a $719,248 DNR Parks and Trail Legacy grant through the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission.

The city had applied for the grant the previous year. That money covers the original project, but not the change order — that amount is being paid for by the city.
Before voting on the change order, council member Robert Canada wanted to know if the $114,234 figure was the amount that was needed for the fix and if the city had considered simply going as far as the grant dollars would allow. Sondrol said they’ve had discussions with the contractor and the engineer, and that’s about where the figure will stay. He noted that if the city had been aware of the private utilities in the area initially, the project would have likely been scaled back so the grant would have covered the entire cost.
“Our plan is to continue to move forward with the project,” he said. “We have been in contact with the Greater Regional Parks and Trails commission about this issue, and we’re working with them, as well.”

Trail repave almost finished
In January of last year, $1.11 million was awarded to Chisago County from Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission for a complete repave of the Sunrise Prairie Trail from North Branch to Wyoming. That work is almost complete.
The entire trail has been resurfaced, and the concrete pedestrian ramps were just installed, Chisago County Engineer Joe Triplett said.
“There is still restoration work to complete,” he said. “We are hoping to have it done by the end of the week.”

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