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A thicker street coming

By Staff | Nov 4, 2013

It appears two streets near the Kwik Trip gas station and convenience store in Blue Earth will be getting a little better repair job than first anticipated.

A block of Eighth Street and one of Sailor Street were recently used as part of the traffic detours during the reconstruction project on Highway 169.

As part of an agreement with the city, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) would put the streets back into the same condition as they were before construction started.

What exactly that condition was, caused some discussion at a special City Council meeting last Monday night.

“The first thought was there had been about one inch of pavement over a three inch base,” city engineer Wes Brown of Bolton and Menk told the council on Monday. “But, we found out there is more there than originally thought.”

Public works supervisor Jamison Holland had cut some sample cores of pavement and found that the pavement had a depth of three and a half to four and a half inches. “MnDOT also took samples and found the pavement had a depth of four to four and half inches in the middle of the road and two and a half inches on the sides of the street,” Brown says.

The city engineer added that means MnDOT will now be adding a lot more asphalt to the street surface than they were going to at first.

“My thought is, we should let them put it back the way it was,” Brown says. “They will blade it up, roll it and pave it. I am confident we will get five years life to these new streets. Three to four inches of pavement has lasted a long time.”

After that, the city has plans to tear the streets up anyway and put in underground utilities, then rebuild the streets.

At that time an aggregate base would be added before the asphalt would be put down.

Councilman Dan Brod asked about costs to add the gravel base now.

“Those streets got really torn up, big time, by all that truck traffic in the detour,” Brod says.

Brown says it would cost about $4,450 per block per inch of gravel base, or close to $9,000 to do the two blocks in question.

One resident of the street, Carrie Meyer, questioned why the city didn’t just plan to do the entire reconstruction now.

Mayor Rick Scholtes says the cost of this construction is totally up to MnDOT. The city has the streets in question as part of their five-year plan.

“We have it on the schedule to do in 2015,” Scholtes says. “It is part of a two-year project in 2014 and 2015.”