Brooklyn Park City Council approves 62nd Avenue reconstruction

Working jointly with Crystal, the Brooklyn Park City Council approved a reconstruction project for 62nd Avenue from Lakeland Avenue to Douglas Drive.
The council postponed a discussion on the reconstruction of the Southbrook Park Trail, which is proposed as part of the 62nd Avenue project.

A map highlighting the construction area. (Submitted graphic)
A map highlighting the construction area. (Submitted graphic)

If the council approves both projects, total costs for the city will be $205,676.
The Southbrook Trail accounts for $125,000 of the project’s cost, with funding from the city’s Heritage Fund, according to Director of Operations and Maintenance Dan Ruiz.
Councilmember Mark Mata said the city should consider postponing construction of the Southbrook Trail in an effort to reduce the budget.
“With my intent to help reduce the budget, save dollars, and not impact people, the trail part that we’re talking about here … it’s a tarred path that goes around a park,” he said. “The park has no amenities in it. It is not accessed by any trail … I’d like to … do the road project and push back [the] trail reconstruction.”
Councilmember Susan Pha agreed with Mata and said the city should reduce the budget where possible.
“In talking with residents in that area this past summer, when we talked about the walking trails around that park, it really has not been used,” Pha said. “I don’t know if it’s because of the condition that it’s in … it’s not in terrible condition, it’s still in usable condition, but some of the long-term residents that have lived there, when I’ve talked to them about light rail coming through that area we also talked about the trails in that area, and I remember residents telling me they just don’t use that trail.”
Ruiz said the bidding climate is the best the city has seen in approximately four years.
“We were very surprised to see prices coming in this low, not only on this project but also on our street overlay program,” Ruiz said, adding that costs for the trail could potentially be 20 percent higher than contractors have bid this year.
“We do rate this trail as one of our worst trails in our trail system,” Ruiz added.
Councilmember Rich Gates said the city should reconstruct the trail at the same time as 62nd Avenue, as bids are low and the city will already have construction equipment in the area.
“One of the things we keep hearing is about a more livable city, and a more liveable city includes trails, sidewalks,” Gates said. “For me I think, if we’re going to be working on this project now it makes sense do it – we wait five years, $125,000 could be $175,000,” Gates said.
“I’m OK with waiting,” Mayor Jeff Lunde said. “If this was 63rd I’d be like ‘no,’ because 63rd is going to tie into … Brooklyn Center’s work on their trail [on 63rd],” Lunde said.
“Since it seems like we still have some answers that need to come back to us, could we table the second half, this Southbrook Trail reconstruction piece?” Councilmember Lisa Jacobson asked.
Ultimately, the council voted to postpone the trail discussion and direct staff to return to the council with more planning information.

Contact Kevin Miller at [email protected]