A triumvirate of construction projects will converge in the Raymond and Como avenue area of St. Anthony Park next spring and close portions of both streets through the summer and fall.
As soon as the weather allows in the spring, crews will be back on Raymond Avenue finishing the resurfacing and realignment project between Como and Energy Park Drive that began late last summer.
In May, water and gas crews will begin work on the Como Avenue paving project, a multi-year project that will begin from Raymond to Commonwealth Avenue.
And when the 2016-17 school year ends on June 9, crews will break ground on a $12.4 million remodel of St. Anthony Park Elementary School, south of Como Avenue at Scudder Street. That remodel will increase classroom space, add a new cafeteria and main entry, more restrooms, more natural light and an expanded second floor.
St. Paul Public Schools will hold an open house in mid-February to discuss the project and how it may affect transportation issues on the surrounding streets.
“We’ve heard concerns about parking, vehicle traffic, cyclist and pedestrian safety in the area,” said project manager Todd Larson. The St. Anthony Park Community Council’s Transportation Committee will help facilitate a discussion at the February meeting to generate ideas and address concerns about how the project will affect transportation in the area during the road construction next summer and later, as the school increases its enrollment.
“We’ll be sharing our first efforts at a plan to manage construction traffic and parking at that meeting as well,” Larson said. The date and time of that meeting will be available in the next issue of the Bugle.
Como Avenue has been slotted for repaving because the street scored No. 12 out of 419 arterial streets that needed work, based on a “pavement condition index and average daily traffic,” said Barb Mundahl, the city’s project engineer.
The street was originally paved in 1921 and was last paved in 1960. The sidewalks along the street were installed in 1969.
Work will include adding new concrete curbs and gutters, new pavement, concrete driveway aprons, utility upgrades, new sidewalks and Americans with Disabilities Act- compliant pedestrian ramps, lantern-style street lighting with LED lights, sodded boulevards, removal of all ash trees, dead trees and stumps, and planting of new trees on the boulevards. The project will also eliminate parking on the south side of Como between Raymond and Commonwealth, except in two parking bays that will accommodate five cars each on the south.
Utility work will begin in May and street construction is set to begin in June.
The city anticipates setting assessment rates for 2017 by the end of February. Once rates are set, a public hearing on the project will be held, said Mundahl, and that will probably be in March.
The project is scheduled to be finished by Oct. 31. Phase 2 of Como Avenue construction will be from Commonwealth to Eustis Street in 2018. Phase 3 will be from Eustis Street to Emerald Street and the city limits in 2020.
You can find out more at www.stpaul.gov/departments/public- works/road-construction/como-avenue-paving-project.