BY MONICA LUNDQUIST
Cass County Correspondent
Cass County Board Tuesday approved a request from Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to use county state aid highways (CSAH) 11 and 5 as detour routes while MnDOT installs a new bridge this year on Highway 84 in Longville.
County Engineer David Enblom said MnDOT will pay the county $4,516 for wear and tear on the county roads during the detour period, which is expected to last about 39 calendar days. Enblom said it his impression that MnDOT has agreed to make some arrangement for Longville Ambulance Service to reach patients south of the city without having to go around the detour route.
Cass commissioners voted to recommend Shingobee Township approve the low bidder of three to install a Paul Bunyan Trail connection bridge alongside of Highway 371 at Shingobee Island, despite the fact the lowest quote was 32.68 percent higher than engineering estimates.
Robert R. Schroeder Construction submitted the low bid at $580,126.66. Enblom attributed the high priced bids received to the fact bridge work is in high demand this year as the city of Duluth and counties of Carlton and St. Louis replace over 50 bridges damaged or washed out during flooding last year. He said there will be adequate grant money to cover the higher than expected bid prices without leaving the Paul Bunyan Trail connection fund short of what is expected to be needed to install a tunnel under Highway 371 at the south entrance to Walker. This trail connects the Paul Bunyan to the city of Walker. The tunnel will be the final project phase. The bridge installation at Shingobee Island is scheduled to begin April 15 and be completed by July 1. No date is set yet for the tunnel work.
Cass has been approved for $456,000 in federal highway funds in 2017 to mill and overlay pavement on CSAH 75 (Bingo Palace Road). The county will provide a $144,000 local match.
The board approved an updated memorandum of understanding Tuesday with Leech Lake Reservation for three joint highway projects. Leech Lake Tribal Council must also approve the agreement before it takes effect. Leech Lake and the county will each provide $300,000 toward improving County Road 143. Leech Lake will provide $180,000 and the county $120,000 for a multi-use trail paralleling CSAH 75 and CSAH 60.
There is a $770,000 federal grant to replace a bridge over the Leech River on CSAH 8 south of Federal Dam. Leech Lake will provide the expected $170,000 to enable adding a walking lane to the highway bridge. Cass County will provide about $150,000 to prepare construction plans and specifications and $100,000 to administer the construction, change orders and contracts.
All three projects are scheduled for this construction season.
Cass’s annual payments to cities for maintaining county roads on city streets include the following payments to Cass Lake, $9,287.86; to Pine River, $1,525.86; to Walker, $995.13; and to Hackensack, $1,990.26.