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County adds road project

By Staff | Aug 9, 2015

Road construction on County Road 6 north of Blue Earth from Fairgrounds Road to Highway 169 was slated to have started last week, but is delayed due to box culverts not being available for awhile.

After more than a year of collecting wheelage tax in Faribault County, taxpayers can see some of that transportation tax put to use before the snow flies this year.

One of the road projects slated for this summer and fall includes a section of County Road 19 and Faribault County Engineer Mark Daly says he plans to use one source of funding.

“I intend to use the wheelage tax entirely for this project,”?he said.

The work on this road includes paving the remaining portion of County Road 19, since work on other portions of the road has already been completed.

“This is located north of Easton and south of the county line,” Daly explained. “And this is the only section left of 19 to be finished.

The county received two quotes for the work one from WW Blacktopping, Inc. and one from Southern MN Construction.

The low bid came in from WW Blacktopping for $78 a ton. The bid was for 1,200 tons for a total cost of $93,600.

The bid from Southern MN?Construction came in at $79.50 per ton for a total bid of $95,400.

The county commissioners approved the low bid and the work for paving the county road was set to begin this week.

The commissioners also agreed with the use of the wheelage tax for this project.

The wheelage tax was first put into action by Faribault County in January 2014 and has been collected ever since.

The cost for the tax in 2014 was $10 per taxable vehicle. Some vehicles are exempt from this, including motorcycles and classic cars. In 2018, the county would have the option to adjust the amount up to $20 per vehicle.

The money set aside from the $10 per vehicle tax was intended for the sole purpose of transportation and road projects here in Faribault County.

There are more than 30 counties in Minnesota which have adopted the wheelage tax, including Waseca, Freeborn and Watonwan counties.

And, there are currently around 16,000 vehicles in Faribault County which the wheelage tax may apply to.

Daly also gave an update as to the progress of the road work on County State Aid Highway 6 from Fairgrounds Road to Highway 169.

The work has been set to begin last week and box culverts to be replaced with a project completion date of Oct. 15.

However, since the last meeting Daly has found that many other areas are doing projects containing box culverts which is delaying the production of the culverts needed for this particular project.

“Due to this delay, the contractor is not going to get those until mid September,”?Daly said. “It is unlikely we are going to make the anticipated completion date.”

Regardless of the delay in culverts, they still intend to begin other work on the road including milling all of the bituminous off.

“They will be widening the pavement for 12 foot lanes and 4 foot shoulders,” Daly said.

The road was previously 10 foot lanes and 6 foot shoulders.

Daly expect that the project should begin on Wednesday or Thursday.