County Board sets out budget for maintaining renamed Highway 5

The Washington County Board of Commissioners reviewed how money from the state will be used to maintain Highway 5, now a county road, July 21.

The state conveyed Highway 5 to the county June 30. Along with the 8.3 miles of the highway, the state will also convey $22 million to the county for the maintenance of the road.

The roadway carries between 9,000 and 21,800 vehicles each day, depending on the section of the highway. It will require short-term and long-term capital improvements.

Initially, it will need traffic signal upgrades, flashing yellow arrow installations, painting, and other hardware and maintenance upgrades, which are expected to cost $270,000. A stoplight may also be added within the corridor, pending data collection and evaluation, at an anticipated cost of $250,000, along with two center turn lanes within the corridor, at a cost of $600,000, or $300,000 for each location.

For ongoing maintenance, the county will purchase two plow trucks, a truck, and a trailer, for $521,900. Salt storage capacity will also be expanded, at a cost of $208,100.

It is also anticipated that the county will hire two maintenance workers for year-round maintenance, including snow plowing in the winter. Those workers will be added to the county’s snowplow crew, which maintains 22 county plow routes.

Ongoing, the county expects to receive an additional $415,000 a year in state aid to maintain the highway, as owning the highway will add to its state aid annual allotment, which provides about $50,000 per mile in state aid.

The roadway will be designated as a county state aid highway, with its numbering changed. The portion of the highway that travels east-west from Oakdale through Lake Elmo to its intersection with County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 15 will be signed as an extension of CSAH 14. Eventually, that roadway will be realigned so that it crosses CSAH 15 at 40th Street and continues into Baytown Township.

The portion of the highway that travels north from that intersection to Highway 36 will be signed as a continuation of CSAH 15, extending the CSAH 15 numbering that already exists from Interstate 94 to 40th Street North. CSAH 15 already continues north from Highway 36 along Manning Avenue to the Chisago County line.

The highway will have signs that read “Old Highway 5” for at least two years. The cities and townships along the route have passed resolutions supporting the jurisdictional transfer of the highway from the state to the county.

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