I have become, with Mayor Skrede, the co-architect for roads on the Council. Working with public works, city engineers, we walk streets selected by staff in the fall of each year to review the road and decide what is needed to do the best job. We look at road conditions, water runoff, curbing, and any other changes.
In 2014 we did St. James Gate, Old Kent Road, and Andover Place. This project bought new technology called reclamation. Here we wanted to raise the level of the road to provide better drainage. By grinding the asphalt and mixing it with the underlayment, we could reshape the road and increase its height. We then went on the next year to use the technology on part of Vine Hill Road.
In 2017 I got heavily involved in Minnetonka Blvd. It was clear that before my time on the Council, the roads, when milled and overlayed, were handled by engineering with a standard 2% crown and no corrective action taken. I was pushing to remove "pinch points" on Minnetonka Blvd, and the only way to make sure that happened was to insert myself into the preplanning. Now I am involved in all road projects.
In 2018 we did Minnetonka Blvd. We discussed this road for a couple of years but held off waiting for the Park Committee's bikeway consultants. In 2017 we had the final information and chose to bond for this road. We also walked the road with engineering and public works and marked up the drainage, curb placement, and width. Getting the road as wide as it could be without extensive dirt work would allow for shoulders, correcting grade, and drainage to keep the water off the road's surface making the road safer. We discussed water coming from Walden on to Minnetonka Blvd and put in phase 1 of running this water underground. (phase 2 was completed in September of 2020). After walking the road and looking at soil borings, it was clear that a full reclamation was in order—the specs were created, and the bids came in early in 2018.
I hope this gives you an understanding of the effort the council puts into roads to make sure we get the best product we can. We continue to increase our budgeted amount and are now at 400K, but putting the money to good work is important.
2015 ($272,799) Vine Hill Road
2016 ($374,521) Deephaven Ave and Park Ave
2017 ($377,674) Excelsior Blvd
2018 ($285,538) Highland Ave, Parkway St, Northern Rd,
2019 ($1,972,996) Minnetonka Blvd, Easton Road (the east side with extensive drainage project).
2020 ($554,419) Northome Blvd and Hillcrest Rd.
2021 ($TBD) Eastwood Dr, Hamilton Ave, Maplewood Rd, East side of Easton Rd.