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Highway 71 project starts soon

Larson Excavating Contractors, Inc. of Holdingford was awarded the low bid for the U.S. Highway 71 project at $1,127,113.68.

Fifteen contractors put in a bid for the utility and street improvement project from Franklin Avenue to Lincoln Avenue.

Larson plans to bring three underground crews and expects to have the project completed by mid to late October, said Jade Berube of Ulteig Engineers. They plan to start by the end of August. "They want to get it done in 60 days," he said. "Can they do it? Yeah they can do it."

It's a straightforward underground project with good soil is what they've told him, Berube said.

The total estimated cost of the project fell from $1,525,000 in June to $1,352,500, Berube said. The assessable items are right in line with what was presented to property owners at a public hearing in May 2008.

The city tax levy share went down considerably after the Minnesota Department of Transportation agreed to pay the majority of street and storm sewer costs, he said. The anticipated city tax levy of $711,200 fell to $577,600.

"So that is pretty significant savings," Berube said.

The increased MnDOT share doesn't affect the assessable portion, because storm sewer costs fall to the city according to the assessment policy, he said.

During construction, local car traffic will be detoured in town and truck traffic will be detoured around town, Berube said.