Morrison County prepares for road construction season

27 Jan 2023

Infrastructure, Economic Development, Community

Morrison County has included 11 road projects, which cover 68.8 miles of roadway, in its 2023 Transportation Improvement Program.

Tuesday, Morrison County Engineer Tony Hennen reviewed the tentative plans with the Board of Commissioners, which voted unanimously to approve the program.

“We have some projects that involve federal funding that it was to the benefit of the county to get moving early; and then a joint project with the city of Royalton to get moving early,” Hennen said.

The largest of those is a 43.8-mile multi-component edge line project, which is scheduled to happen in various locations throughout the county. As part of the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), the striping project received federal funding.

Hennen said the striping will be created by using a “higher performance paint” that the county typically does not use because of the cost.

That is one of two HSIP projects the county plans to complete this year, and one of three utilizing federal funding. The other HSIP involves signage. Again, throughout the county, chevron signs that signal curves will be replaced.

Hennen said the county completed a similar project during the late 2000s or early 2010s. Signs typically have a life of about 13 - 15 years before they start to lose their reflectivity.

“It was a fantastic opportunity to receive some outside funding and replace some of those signs from a different fund source outside of local dollars,” Hennen said.

Another major venture the county plans to complete in 2023 is a reclamation project on County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 1 from Randall to CSAH 5 (also known as Bear Road) on the south side of Lake Alexander.

The project covers 7.8 miles and includes new pavement and edging.

On CSAH 6, near Sobieski, a bridge over the Swan River is scheduled for replacement, again, with the help of federal funding.

The largest state aid project the county will undertake this year will be on CSAH 47, north of Pierz, from Highway 25 to Highway 27. At 9.3 miles, the proposed bituminous overlay is the longest individual stretch of roadway included in the program.

“Originally, we were anticipating that to be longer, but reviewing bid prices, we had to shrink that down a little bit,” Hennen said. “So, in 2024, you’ll be seeing some additional 47 work.”

County Road projects, which utilize available levy dollars and funds collected via the local option sales tax, are all tentative at this point. Hennen said the project near Sobieski was going out for bid, Wednesday. The results of that letting will help dictate which of those projects is completed, if not all of them.

“We’ve had two lettings so far, already, and they’ve come in very favorable,” he said. “I’m anticipating being able to deliver all of this project, pending right of way on the (County Road) 253.”

The aforementioned joint effort with the city of Royalton is included among the county projects. That is on County Road 234, and Hennen said it has been put off for “numerous years,” but they were able to get it on the docket for 2023.

Read the full article here.