City Council Meeting Date: February 7, 2017
To: Mayor and City Council
From: Sean Simonson, Engineering Manager
David Bennett, P.E., Public Works Director/City Engineer
Public Hearing - Improvement Hearing - 2017 Street Reclamation Project.
The Northfield City Council holds a public hearing on the 2017 Street Reclamation Project (STRT2017-A36). This hearing is also known as the “Improvement Hearing”.
The City Council is being asked to hold a public hearing on the 2017 Street Reclamation Project (STRT2017-A36) regarding the improvements. The purpose of this hearing is to allow for public comment regarding the project and the findings of the feasibility study. The required 10-day notice for the improvement hearing was published in the Northfield News on January 25 & February 1, 2017, and notices (Attachment 1) were sent to property owners along the project corridor on January 23, 2017.
The actions requested above are required by Minnesota Statutes Chapter 429, which specifies the actions that must be taken to assess property owners for the cost of local improvements. The City Council has moved this project forward to this point with the actions shown on the project process (Attachment 2).
The reclamation project includes the following streets (Attachment 3):
• Maple Street between Woodley Street and Ninth Street
• Ninth Street between Maple Street and Nevada Street
• Nevada Street between Ninth Street and Seventh Street
• Nevada Street between Ninth Street and Seventh Street
• Bunday Court
• Hillside Court
• Professional Drive between Woodley Street and TH 3 Service Road
• Marvin Lane between Division Street and Washington Street
• Sibley View Drive between Jefferson Parkway and Sibley View Court
• Sibley View Court
On December 6, 2016 the City Council passed Council Resolution 2016-116 which ordered the preparation of a feasibility report for the project and Council approved the feasibility report by Resolution 2017-006 on January 17, 2017.
All street segments proposed in the 2017 Street Reclamation Project are classified as “Local” streets in the current Comp Plan. Soil borings have already been completed and indicate a sufficient existing gravel base to complete a full-depth reclamation on all segments. The generated material from the reclamation process will then be re-graded and re-compacted to provide a new granular base for the street segments. The streets will then be paved with bituminous asphalt. Curb and gutter spot repairs will be performed as needed to provide positive drainage for the new street surface.
Minor repairs to the sanitary sewer will be performed as indicated in the Feasibility Report. The majority of the repairs made are related to upgrading facilities to the current City Standards. Watermain repairs are also minor. One repair of note, Hillside Court, will have a City Standard fire hydrant installed due to the lack of a hydrant for that area. Storm sewer repairs are also proposed to be minimal. Rehabilitation of existing structures and the replacement of a few structures are planned.
Sidewalks and Tree impacts
Currently, the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Plan (Attachment 4), which was adopted by City Council as Motion 2010-0031 on February 16, 2010 identifies the Maple Street, Ninth Street, and Nevada Street portion of the project corridor as an area with “Lack of Sidewalk on Key Routes”. Attachment 5 shows the overall sidewalk and trail connections that would link to the proposed sidewalk installations. Staff has indicated in the Feasibility Report that construction of the sidewalks throughout this specified corridor can be constructed and funded with the available funds that have been allocated to this project.
Maple St./Nevada St./Ninth St
Staff has also evaluated the proposed design for conformity to the Complete Streets Policy which was adopted as Resolution 2012-064 on July 17, 2012 (Attachment 6). This policy was adopted to ensure all streets are planned, funded, designed, constructed, operated and maintained to safely accommodate users of all ages and abilities. Incorporating sidewalks specified by the SRTS Plan on both sides of this particular project corridor would be consistent with adhering to the adopted Complete Streets Policy. The “Directives” section of the Complete Streets Policy under provision”1” allows specific exceptions to adhering to the policy (see attached Complete Streets Policy). The City Administrator and City Engineer do not believe any of the conditions for exceptions exist with the proposed design. Therefore, we are not recommending any exceptions to the proposed design that includes sidewalks on both sides of the project area.
Staff has also evaluated Marvin Lane as it relates to conformity with the Complete Street Policy. In review of this street, Marvin Lane has limited driveway accesses and low traffic volumes due to its lack of connectivity. Therefore, the width of this street provides for both a mixed use of vehicles and pedestrians and sidewalks are not recommended.
An Arborist Report was completed for the Maple Street, Ninth Street, and Nevada Street Project Corridor where sidewalks are proposed for installation. Trees located in the Right-of-Way (ROW) were evaluated and given a rating of 0 - 9. Conditions 4 - 9 are considered healthy; trees 0 - 3 have significant defects, and are recommended for removal. A total of 43 trees were inventoried throughout this area. Of those 43 trees, 36 were in the ROW and 7 were located outside of the ROW, but were evaluated due to possible root impact with sidewalk installations. Of the 36 trees located in the ROW, 7 trees are recommended for immediate removal due to an evaluation score of 3 or less. Also, 1 Green Ash tree is recommended for removal due to the susceptibility to Emerald Ash Borer.
During the conceptual design phase, sidewalk installation on both sides of the road, which is consistent with the SRTS plan and limiting the impact on existing trees, were the two main criteria taken into consideration. Staff came up with the following two options for consideration:
Option 1- Curb Remains in its existing location (Attachment 7)
This option consists of a meandering sidewalk alignment on both sides of the Maple Street, Ninth Street, and Nevada Street corridor. This option has an estimated 10 additional tree removals to allow for sidewalk installation on the west side mainly due to the large grade changes in the west boulevard from Nevada Court to Seventh Street.
Option 2 (STAFF RECOMMENDED) - West Curb Moved in from Nevada Ct. to Seventh St. (Attachment 8)
This option includes sidewalks on both sides of the Maple Street, Ninth Street, and Nevada Street corridor. However, this option incorporates the removal of the existing curb and gutter on the west side of the corridor from Nevada Court to Seventh Street, and narrowing the street four feet to a 32’ width. Sidewalks and retaining walls in this area would be placed directly behind the curb to lessen the tree impacts. Removal of the existing curb, coupled with the narrowing of the street results in saving 10 additional trees on the west side. The cost for this change is minimal due to offsetting costs of less retaining wall versus additional curb. Attachment 9 shows the breakdown on estimated tree removals for both Options 1 and 2.
Staff completed rough pedestrian counts in the fall of 2016 after school began on the Maple/Nevada Street. Staff observed 20 pedestrians, a combination of students walking to and from Sibley Elementary along with students getting picked up and dropped off by the bus for either the middle school or high school.
1. The City Council could delay this project; however, the pavement will require significant repair work in order to keep the streets in marginal condition for traffic.
2. Install sidewalk on both sides of the Maple Street, Ninth Street and Nevada Street corridor with a meandering sidewalk to limit tree impacts. This is the recommended staff alternative.
3. Install sidewalk on both sides of the Maple Street, Ninth Street, and Nevada Street corridor. On the west side, remove the curb and gutter and narrow the street to 32’ from Nevada Court to Seventh Street and place the sidewalk directly behind the curb to limit tree impacts.
The estimated total project costs indicate there is enough funding available to complete this project. The financial costs are shown in Attachment 9.
The project process (Attachment 5) accounts for all the required actions by City Council to ensure that Minnesota Statute Chapter 429 procedures are followed so that assessments for local improvements may be levied to abutting benefiting properties.