New Hope approves feasibility study for Boone and 36th avenues

The New Hope City Council has approved the preparation of a feasibility report for the construction of the 2018 municipal state aid infrastructure improvement projects on Boone and 36th avenues.
Boone Avenue between 42nd and 27th avenues is rated as poor to good condition and 36th Avenue is rated in poor condition, according to a 2016 pavement rating index assessment conducted by city staff.
Councilmember Jonathan London expressed concern that it was costing the city $40,000 in indirect costs to complete the feasibility report.
“I don’t know exactly where the $40,000 came from but there will be costs in there,” said City Engineer Chris Long. “I would assume this could be in the $20,000 to $30,000. It all depends on how significant of effort we have on the dealing with the complete streets and the bike lanes and some of the bump outs we talked about looking at. Some of those improvements might entail a little more work, but you’re right, this is a mill and overlay, there’s not a lot to it.”
The report will identify the cost of mill and overlaying both sections of road and all tax-exempt properties that will be assessed for a portion of the project. No major utility issues were indicated in the project areas. Any minor utility issues that arise will be repaired by staff prior to the mill and overlay.
Stantec, New Hope’s engineering consultant, will also get ground penetrating radar to analyze pavement sections to determine if a 2-inch mill and overlay is the best option.
The city also plans to incorporate a bike bath on the Boone segment of the project, as was identified the 1995 transportation plan, 2030 comprehensive plan and the 2011 complete streets policy.
Several council members had concerns regarding specific areas of Boone Avenue.
Mayor Kathi Hemken reminded the council that the June 26 vote was simply to complete the feasibility report and not talk about project details yet, but select council members wanted Long to know some areas of concern prior to the study.
Councilmember John Elder and London are concerned for bicyclists safety near Sonnesyn Elementary, where pedestrian cones that help students cross Boone Avenue are causing bicyclists to enter the driving lane.
“It makes it more difficult to plow as well,” Long added.
Councilmember Eric Lammle reminded Long that the city had previously mentioned adding wayfinding signs to the bikeway identifying when the Boone Avenue lane intersects with regional trails or city parks.
The city is looking to create one parking lane, two driving lanes and two bike lanes on Boone Avenue. This layout means that segment of Boone would lose a parking lane.
Elder noted that if parking is limited to one side, Long may want to look into locating the parking lane on the west side of the street near Hidden Valley Park due to the busy basketball court.
The project is estimated to cost $1.1 million. Approximately $1.04 million of the total project cost is for the mill and overlay with water main, sanitary sewer and storm sewer work costing $20,000 each.
Most of the project’s funding will come from municipal state aid funds. Long will also apply for a grant from the Hennepin County 2017 bikeway participation program. If awarded, the grant would be up to $20,000 and help fund the feasibility report. The street infrastructure fund would pay the remaining amount for the report.
Construction is expected to begin in spring 2018 with completion by fall 2018.