City will proceed with 2nd Street NW project

By Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

The New Prague City Council's consensus at its Monday meeting was for city staff to proceed with proposed work on Second Street NW. The proposal would cover two-years with a box culvert, small bridge, to be redone in the fall of 2011 and Second Street to be reconstructed in 2012.

City engineer Chris Cavett with Short Elliott Hendrickson (S.E.H.) Inc., explained the firm and city worked on a Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) in 2009 that outlined street improvements over 12 years.

Cavett noted that Second Street NW was rated one of the worst streets in town. He proposed work be done on the box culvert over Philipp Creek in the fall of 2011, when there is little water flowing in the creek. The box culvert was built in 1931 and while still in good shape, needs some work. The bridge is eligible for Municipal State Aid funds, which come from the gas tax. Approximately $187,000 can be used toward the project.

Other concerns for Second Street NW was where it crosses the Burlington Northern railroad tracks and property easements on the south side of the street. It was found the railroad crossing will fit into the reconstruction plan. The easements will require more investigation and discussions with the property owners.

Mayor Chuck Nickolay asked what percentage of the city's streets will be done under the CIP? Cavett responded about a fourth of all the street mileage in town would be done. A lot of them are older streets, which requires work not just on the roads, but the utilities underneath. The streets to be reconstructed are north of Highway 19. After the 12-year program, major work on the city's streets would be done.

Council member Shawn Ryan asked what the life cycle would be on the streets? Cavett said in about 25 years a mill overlay, or a repaving, of the first few streets would have to be done. At the least, it would be about 50 years before any major work would have to done.

Discussion and planning on the 2011 work for Second Street NW will continue at the council's Tuesday, Feb. 22, meeting.

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