County Road 21 may have new route in Gaylord

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County Road 21 may soon have a new route in Gaylord. Gaylord’s City Council recently gave the preliminary go-ahead to vacate four blocks of County Road 21 from Highway 5/19 (Third Street) north to Lincoln Avenue and designate CR 21 on three blocks of Lincoln Avenue, east of Highway 22, and connect it with the existing route at the corner of Lakeview Homes.

Sibley County Engineer Darin Mielke said that he approached the City of Gaylord regarding this change because of a study conducted by the Minnesota Department of Transportation that ranked routes based on traffic and the importance of the area.

Mielke said he believes by changing County Road 21 to include all of Lincoln Avenue, east of Highway 22, will be beneficial to Gaylord because the city will then have a good east-west corridor. County Road 10 is located west of Highway 22 on Lincoln Avenue.

It has been “quite some time,” since the county road system has been looked at, he said. The proposed re-routing would be 600 feet shorter than the existing route, Mielke said.

Mielke said that he will be looking at all communities – cities, county, and townships – for possible changes in the roads to see which is appropriate.

Gaylord’s City Council, earlier this month, gave its preliminary approval for the project. County Commissioners were informed about the change last week. Mielke must submit the proposed change to the State Aid Office. If it is approved by the State Aid office, then resolutions about the change must be approved by the City Council and the County Board of Commissioners. If approved, the change could take place this summer, according to Mielke.

One other change that is being proposed at this time is the elimination of CSAH 30 in the City of Gibbon. This route is two blocks long off of CSAH 2 and is located west of the County Highway Shop in Gibbon. It is the road where the former creamery was located, he said. The City of Gibbon has given preliminary approval for this change, he said.

In other business, the County Commissioners:

• Set a bid opening date of March 26 for the 2007 seal coat project. This project includes 32 miles of roadway on County Roads 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 20, and 22. The engineer’s estimated cost is $461,077.93.

• Set the bid opening date of April 9 for the CSAH 18 bridge replacement project in Kelso Township, just east of County Road 17. The project is estimated to cost $674,380, which will be paid through state aid and bridge bonding funds. The project is expected to begin in late May or early June and be completed by the end of August.

• Transferred the $50,257 the County Road and Bridge Fund received from the Gaylord tax increment financing settlement to future roadway construction. The funds had been disbursed between five different funds in the Road and Bridge Fund.

• Learned that Sibley County’s State Aid allotments for Highway maintenance and construction are up 2.1% for 2007. Public Works had budgeted a 1% decrease for 2007. Town road apportionments are down, however, due to more township road mileage statewide, according to Public Works Director Darin Mielke.

• Were informed by Mielke that the new road grader purchased by the County Highway Department cost less than anticipated. The final cost is $172,531.07. The unit had been a rental unit, used in Chisholm, and it had 100-250 hours on it.

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