Contractor set for early design of Lake Elmo Avenue improvements

The Washington County Board of Commissioners recently awarded a contract for preliminary work on a street reconstruction project on Lake Elmo Avenue (County Road 17) from 30th Street North to Stillwater Boulevard North. The goal is to address safety, mobility and flooding issues on the roadway that cuts through Lake Elmo’s downtown. (Map of project area courtesy of Washington County)

Reconstruction would start in spring of 2016 through downtown Lake Elmo

The Washington County Board of Commissioners recently approved a consultant contract for preliminary work on a project to allay issues with safety, mobility and flooding by reconstructing a stretch of Lake Elmo Avenue North that cuts through the city’s main business district.

Also known as County Road 17, the roadway has poor drainage, a “mish-mash” of parking and limited features for pedestrians, according to Cory Slagle, engineering and construction manager, who presented the project at the Dec. 17 meeting.

“We have standing water in some areas when it rains,” Slagle said. “We also had some sidewalks under water.”

The proposed $3.5 million project would be from 30th Street North to the south and Stillwater Boulevard North (state Highway 5) to the north. It would resurface the pavement and improve underground infrastructure, including installation of sanitary sewer utilities.  Other project goals include reviewing possible impacts on the environment, adhering to stipulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and limiting the project’s effect on area properties.

“As we all know, Lake Elmo’s very proud and protective of their downtown,” said Gary Kriesel, the commissioner of District 3, which includes Lake Elmo.

District 5 commissioner Lisa Weik of Woodbury said that the improvements could have a positive impact on economic development in the area.

“This is the main business district in Lake Elmo,” she said.

Out of seven submitted proposals, staff recommended that the board pick Short Elliott Hendrickson to complete the preliminary design, a drainage report and environmental documentation services. The board voted 5-0 to award the $321,000 contract to the St. Paul-based company.

The presented schedule set preliminary work -- planned public involvement, a drainage review and an early layout -- from February 2014 to about October. The final design would be completed in the fall of 2015, and construction would start in the spring of 2016.

Kaitlyn Roby can be reached at 651-748-7814, and at

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