The Sixth St Reconstruction Project blog has been dormant since April because there have no more meetings or policy-related issues. All construction-related news is being provided by the City’s Public Works staff via the Notify Me service. I’ll post some photos of the landscaping around the new cul-de-sac at Old Memorial Park when that’s completed later this fall.
Last Friday’s email newsletter (delivered via the City’s Notify Me service) included this:
As most of you already know, the project is slated to begin Monday April 28, 2014. Traffic Control contractors will be on-site first thing Monday morning to install the traffic signs for all of Phase I. Also on Monday, Heselton will work on getting the Temporary Water System constructed along Phase I, which is the blue pipes that are currently laying in the boulevard on the majority of Phase I. Also next week, Heselton has their road reclamation sub-contractor scheduled to be on-site on Tuesday to reclaim (grind) off the existing road surface. Heselton has indicated that the weather at the beginning of next week may not be conducive to the road surface reclaiming operation, so it may get pushed back to mid-week.
The forecast for the early part of this week does not look promising for the start of construction.
Last week, Northfield’s Engineering Technician Coordinator Sean Simonson held separate half-hour meetings with about 34 individual property owners to go over the proposed construction schedule, and discuss the effects of the project on their individual properties. These meetings were the Neighborhood Tour that’s listed on page 2 of the Project Process document where it says:
Prior to the start of construction a walking tour of the project corridor will be taken. Individual meetings with property owners will be scheduled to go over the details of construction and document existing conditions.
Sean will be the Project Representative during construction and actively involved with resident communications, so he sent this April 8 letter to residents inviting them to set up these meetings.
An assessment hearing for property owners is scheduled for next week, Tuesday April 15, 7 pm at City Hall. The Project Process specifies an assessment hearing
The purpose of this hearing is to give property owners an opportunity to express concerns about the actual special assessment. At the Assessment Hearing the City Council shall hear and consider all objections to the proposed assessment, whether presented orally or in writing.
The Assessment hearing letter was mailed to property owners on March 28, 2014, and an ad was placed in the Northfield News on March 29, 2014.
It has the details for each property owner:
The amount to be specially assessed against your particular lot, piece, or parcel of land is shown in the attachment to this notice.
City of Northfield Public Works staff opened bids for the Sixth St. reconstruction project last week at City Hall. The Northfield City Council is scheduled to accept the bids and award the contract at its April 1 meeting.
Contractors and bids:
Heselton Construction, LLC: $1,980,069.10
BCM Construction, Inc.: $1,985,556.75
Swenke Ims Contracting: $2,100,739.61
A-1 Excavating, Inc.: $2,249,293.00
Ryan Contracting Co.: $2,324,733.85
Last week Assistant Public Works Director/Assistant City Engineer Brian Erickson hosted a neighborhood meeting prior to the PRAB meeting on the landscaping plans for the Sixth St. cul-de-sac at Old Memorial Park. He then met with the PRAB to update them on the project and engage in a little Q&A.
City of Northfield Public Works staff held a third and final neighborhood meeting at City Hall last week. Sean Simonson, Engineering Tech Coordinator, Assistant Public Works Director/Assistant City Engineer Brian Erickson, and Joe Stapf, Public Works Director/City Engineer were on hand to answer questions from property owners along the project corridor, including upcoming schedule, driveway access, tree removals, sidewalk construction, utility replacement, the final plan set, and the preliminary assessment roll.
From the Department of Redundancy Department (heh), this is our second blog post that publicizes our publicity efforts about this Sixth St. reconstruction project. (Our first one was back in October.)
The idea is that by publicly documenting what’s we’re doing to get the word out, we can A) get suggestions on what else we should be doing to promote the project; and B) point to our efforts if and when the day comes that someone says, “How come I didn’t know about this planning process?”
- The City of Northfield’s Public Works department has created a 2014 Sixth Street Reconstruction Project page on its website where updates are listed.
- This Sixth St. Reconstruction Project engagement blog is the complete and detailed one-stop place for all things related to the project, including online interactions
- Public Works sends letters via USPS to homeowners who live near the project whenever there’s a public meeting about it. You can see these letters on their project site or in the community meeting blog posts here.
- The City of Northfield has enabled its Notify Me service for both email and text message alerts for the Sixth St. resconstruction project. Icon links to both are on the left sidebar here on the blog.
- All updates to this blog are posted to the Northfield Citizen Engagement Twitter feed @Nfld_Engagement. Most of those retweets are retweeted by the Northfield Public Works Twitter feed @NfldPW and in turn posted to the Northfield Public Works Facebook page.
- Northfield.org aggregates the RSS feed for the project via its blogosphere service here. It pulls in the blog post headlines into its right sidebar along with new Tweets. And there is a new blog post about the project as of March 3rd.
- Locally Grown Northfield has a Sixth St. Project RSS feed widget in its inner right sidebar and a new blog post about the project as of March 3rd. LoGro also retweets the project tweets to its @LoGroNfld Twitter feed and posts updates to its Locally Grown Facebook page wall, example here.
If you’ve got other suggestions on what we should be doing to publicize this project, attach a comment.
At the Feb. 18 City Council meeting, Assistant Public Works Director/Assistant City Engineer Brian Erickson, and Joe Stapf, Public Works Director/City Engineer included some information about sidewalk policies in their request (PDF) to the Council.
Some residents of the Sixth St. neighborhood have expressed some concerns about the plans for sidewalks, so this blog post is both an attempt to draw attention to the issue and invite people to attach questions and comments to the post.
Another item of concern is we have also encountered a conflict between sidewalk policies. One policy is reflected in what staff understands to be the standard practice of installing sidewalk on both sides of a street when performing reconstruction projects.
However, we have come upon a little used policy which establishes one additional constraint, and which indicates sidewalk should not be installed within 25 feet of an adjoining structure.
In a few cases on this project, if the sidewalk is installed as normally done, it will encroach upon that 25 foot limit. The areas of concern are two blocks on the north side of Sixth Street (between Nevada and the Park, and between College and Winona, respectively), and both sides of Winona between Sixth and Seventh.
Most (but not necessarily all) residents in those four areas are aware of this conundrum, as it has been a topic of discussion at the neighborhood meetings, and we expect at least two residents will be present at the City Council meeting to express their opposition to the installation of sidewalk.
It should be noted at this time we have still included on the plans the sidewalk in those areas, which is of course subject to confirmation by the City Council.
At the Feb. 18 City Council meeting, Assistant Public Works Director/Assistant City Engineer Brian Erickson, and Joe Stapf, Public Works Director/City Engineer included some information about striping for bicycle traffic in their request (PDF) to the Council.
This blog post is both an attempt to draw attention to the issue and invite people to attach questions and comments to the post.
Finally, staff reviewed options for striping the proposed 32 foot wide Sixth Street to accommodate bicycle traffic. Most local streets within the city are not striped unless they are part of the Municipal State Aid System, which Sixth Street is not.
Sixth Street is and will remain a dead end street upon completion of the project. In addition, the adopted Park, Open Space and Trail System Plan does not show any bike lanes on Sixth Street.
Striping Sixth Street as we have recently done on Maple, Prairie and Roosevelt is not really workable because those streets are much wider, and therefore more suited to the striping. Of course this does not mean bicycles are not welcome on Sixth Street. Bicyclists must simply obey the normal traffic laws. As a result upon review, Sixth Street should be left un-striped.