The Two Harbors City Council will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 14, to discuss the 2019 Street and Alley Improvement Plan. The council received a feasibility report from city-hired engineering firm Bolton and Menk at a special meeting Monday, Jan. 7.
The report explored the costs involved in the replacement or repair of one-block street segments and alleyways:
• Eighth Avenue: Fourth to Fifth streets;
• Eighth Avenue: Sixth to Seventh streets;
• Eighth Avenue: Ninth Street to its west end;
• Ninth Avenue: 15th Street to its east end;
• Alley North of Second Avenue: Second to Fourth streets;
• Alley North of Seventh Avenue: Eighth to Ninth streets;
• Alley North of Eighth Avenue: Eighth to Ninth streets.
According to the report, if every section included in the feasibility report is included in the final plan, the total estimated costs would be around $2.52 million.
Question of Eighth Avenue
The council added the section of Eighth Avenue between Fourth and Fifth streets to the feasibility report in November as a possible replacement for the section of Eighth Avenue between Sixth and Seventh Street. It was not scheduled for this year in the original capital improvement plan.
That section alone would cost about $690,000. The section of Eighth Avenue between Sixth and Seventh streets would cost $806,000.
The report recommends the exclusion of Eighth Avenue from Fourth to Fifth streets due to "circumstances of the water system." The report also suggests possibly excluding the Sixth to Seventh streets section as well, and construct three segments of Eighth Avenue all at one time.
Eighth Avenue also has further complications as it doesn't meet the city's standards for street width. The avenue has a width of approximately 24 feet from curb to curb, whereas the city's construction standard is 33 feet. The report recommends, rather than widening the avenue by 8 feet, increasing the width by 2 feet on each side, to 28 feet between curbs.
The feasibility report also recommended reducing the thickness of the alleys in the project from 20 inches thick to 12 inches. This recommendation was adopted in the 2018 project and would save the 2019 proposed project about $55,000.
Overall, the project was found to be "feasible, cost-effective and necessary due to the conditions of the existing infrastructure."
If the council adopts the plan, 50 percent of the street and alley improvement costs would be assessed to the benefited properties, with the exception of the sewer and water system reconstruction costs, of which the city pays 100 percent.
The next step is to hold the public meeting to share the findings of the report and receive input on the proposed improvements. The full feasibility report can be viewed at City Hall and by visiting twoharborsmn.gov.