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Paynesville Press - July 30, 2003

Township to begin road project

By Michael Jacobson

Township mapWork could start this week and is scheduled to begin in earnest next week on a road project in Paynesville Township. The township plans to repair NW Koronis Road, Crestridge Road, and Breezewood Road and build an eight-foot trail along these roads.

A culvert on NW Koronis Road could be replaced this week, which could close NW Koronis Road (from Crestridge Road to Breezewood Road) for a couple days. Motorists will need to use alternate routes.

Construction on the project is scheduled to start in full on Monday, Aug. 4. The first task will be to cut the hill on NW Koronis Road, which currently presents a visibility problem since traffic stopped at the stop sign on Crestridge Road cannot see vehicles heading north on NW Koronis Road.

Several feet from the hill will be cut, with dirt being used as fill for the trail along NW Koronis Road and Breezewood Road. The crest of the hill will be cut until these sections of the trail are completed.

While the hill is cut, NW Koronis Road will be closed to thru traffic, for up to a couple weeks. Local traffic to the three residences on NW Koronis Road will be able to continue to use the road to get to their homes, but other residents and traffic will need to use alternate routes.

The north half of NW Koronis Road - to the north of Crestridge Road - will be open throughout the project. Township residents should be aware of increased truck traffic in the area during the project.

Lake Koronis residents on Briorwood and Breezewood roads will have to avoid using NW Koronis Road and will have to use an alternate route. The shortest alternate route to Paynesville for these residents is via the Tri-County Road.

Once the trail is built, Crestridge Road will be overlayed. NW Koronis Road and Breezewood Road either will be overlayed or will be milled and then asphalted again.

This road work should take a few days to complete.

The bids for the project allow for ten weeks to do the work, but township officials hope the work can be completed in 30 to 45 working days.

The township board accepted a base bid from Duininck Brothers for $347,824 to do the project - based on quantities used - in May. Duininck Brothers was the low bidder out of seven bids for the project.

The project includes an eight-foot-wide pedestrian trail, separated from the road by six feet. This is the second time the township has included a pedestrian trail in a road project. When the township rebuilt Old Lake Road - starting in the fall of 2001 and finished in the spring of 2002 - it widened the road to include six-foot shoulders on each side.

This time, the township board opted to have a separate trail because they felt it was safer. Former township supervisor John Atwood asked the township board how much the "path," as he called it, was going to cost at the township board meeting on Monday, July 14.

The supervisors said that question was impossible to answer because their intention was always to either widen the road and build wider shoulders for pedestrian traffic or to build a separate trail. Project engineers and contractors, according to township officials, said the cost of the project would be the same whether the road was widened or whether a separate trail was built, so the township opted for a separate trail for safety reasons.

To accommodate the separate trail, the township has negotiated easements with four property owners along Breezewood Road - extending the road right-of-way 10 feet to the north - and with another four property owners along Crestridge Road - extending the road right-of-way 10 feet for three properties and even farther to follow a berm on property owned by the Lake Koronis Assembly Grounds.

The township also will have to mitigate 18,220 square feet of wetlands in seven locations along NW Koronis Road and Breezewood Road. On Monday, July 28, the township received permission to do this and learned that the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources would pay for the mitigation, in part because widening the road and having wider shoulders on both sides would impact even more wetlands on the east side of NW Koronis Road.

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