By Anne Holzman
Lauderdale residents have endured road closures, limited driveway access, improvised garbage pickups, water shutoffs, and the usual noise and dirt of major road construction this summer as road crews have reconstructed Eustis Street and Roselawn Avenue to higher standards, including improvements to water and sewer infrastructure.
Two gaps in the city’s network of alleys, affecting homes along the west side of Eustis Street, are also being paved, over the objections of a dozen property owners who unsuccessfully petitioned the City Council to vacate the city’s alley right-of-way.
The project covers Eustis between Larpenteur and Roselawn avenues, and Roselawn between Fulham and Highway 280, a T-shaped work area that affects much of the city. The construction coincides with the transfer of the streets from Ramsey County to the city of Lauderdale, enabling the town to maintain them as needed instead of waiting for the county to schedule repairs.
The total project cost is about $2.4 million. Of that total, Ramsey County is contributing about $836,000, or about one-third of the cost. St. Paul Regional Water is chipping in about $733,000. The city planned to finance the rest using reserves, bonds and special assessments to “each benefitting property,” according to a 2018 feasibility study.
Roadwork began in May with utilities bursting water mains, digging up pipes and moving poles. By mid-June, the streets were completely bare of pavement, with pipes laid on the grass and muddy ruts carved by heavy equipment.
Other street projects this summer in Lauderdale and Falcon Heights have included closures on Larpenteur Avenue for concrete repair, traffic signal upgrades, and sign replacement. Also this summer, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is replacing intersection signal lights along Snelling Avenue in Falcon Heights.