The City of Golden Valley will make safety improvements to two key intersections along Highway 55 and create a pedestrian-friendly extension to the city’s downtown area.
The city plans to reconfigure Golden Valley Road and Decatur Avenue and Golden Valley Road and Highway 55, and make improvements to Seventh Avenue, beginning in August.
The project will include adding sidewalks and lighting to both sides of the streets. All private overhead utilities will be buried and there will be minor public utility relocation and rehabilitation, according to R.J. Kakach, city utility engineer,
The city will sell general obligation bonds to pay for the project and pay those bonds through tax increment financing and special assessments. Tax increment financing will cover $1.27 million of the $1.83 million project and special assessments will cover the remaining $552,000.
City staff members plan to complete the design phase and bury the utilities this spring, have the project bid awarded in July, begin construction in August and finish by the end of fall.
Councilmember Larry Fonnest wondered what type of vegetation would be planted along the corridor and if the city had considered installing benches.
“We are still looking at final design for landscape plan,” said Kakach. “Some of our concerns at this point are the existing underground utilities. We’re looking to put in as many small trees or plantings as possible along this corridor.”
Kakach said the staff members can research the cost and possibility of adding benches.
Councilmember Joanie Clausen questioned how the intersections would change.
“What we’re seeing right now is vehicles are exiting at fairly high speeds and they’re not slowing down …,” Kakach said.
According to Kakach, a right turn lane would be added to Highway 55 turning onto Decatur Avenue and Golden Valley Road would form a “T” intersection with Decatur Avenue.
“They’ll be more of a right angle turn, which will slow down traffic,” he said.
Clausen said although she was not supportive of the tax increment financing district in this area, she would support this project because the tax increment financing district is already established.
Fonnest is happy with the site plans.
“I think it’s a right step, a very positive step to making our city much more pedestrian friendly,” he said.
Mayor Shep Harris agreed.
“This is a great example of a public and private partnership,” Harris said. “We’re already seeing some great success along Golden Valley Road.”
Councilmember Steve Schmidgall said it is gratifying to see some of the projects he spoke about during his campaign season come to fruition.
“This is a great success story all the way around,” he said. “It’s turning out really well. I’m looking forward to seeing that complete.”
Contact Gina Purcell at [email protected]