2/15/2013 10:58:00 AM Goodhue County pays $4,000,000 for projects
by Paul Martin
The long-planned new intersection on US-52 at the south end of Cannon Falls moved a step closer on February 5. Goodhue County Board voted 5 to 0 at its meeting to sign the $4,000,000 check which is the County's share of the cost of the project.
Work on the overpass and other needed roads will take place this summer. County 24 will then cross US-52 by a two-lane overpass south of the existing lights, which will both be removed when work is complete. The three access points to US-52 south of the new overpass, as far as Highview Road, will also be closed.
Planned Northern Bridge may not be Built
"A second bridge near the Cannonball is part of the design," said County Public Works Director Greg Isakson. "MnDOT (Minnesota Department of Transportation) says they have a 'slot' for it in their 2019 program, but it may not be built then. They now say it will be built when traffic density on the southern bridge is causing problems." Because of this uncertainty, the City of Cannon Falls will be paying a bit less than their original $2,000,000 share of the project. The reduction is their share of that part of the work.
Commissioners and staff agreed the northern bridge should be built as soon as possible. After the new Mayo Hospital is built, Isakson believes it will not take long for the two-lane overpass to reach capacity. Commissioner Richard Samuelson said, "It is a mistake not to build that bridge. The businesses in that area need it." Commissioner Ted Seifert was more critical. "The original plan was for a four-lane overpass, but that became two two-lane overpasses," he said. "Now that we have bought into that plan, the State is only building one two-lane bridge."
Residents will notice changes in County road numbers in the area. Hwy. 24 will be built to run east of. the hospital site as far as Hwy. 25 in 2013, with a future extension to Hwy. 19 near St. Ansgar's to relieve downtown traffic. Fourth St. South from downtown up the hill to Hwy. 25 will also be numbered Hwy. 25, so it continues to link to Hwy. 19, and so qualify for State funding. South of that point, and also west of Hwy. 52, the old Hwy. 24 will be numbered 124, and will in time be turned over to the City and Cannon Falls Township.
Commissioner Ron Allen noted that the project includes four roundabouts, or traffic islands, which will be the first in Goodhue County.
Burfeind Dairy Farm LLC became the latest county dairy operation to be given planning approval for expansion. Commissioner Jim Bryant spoke warmly of their operation, which lies in the west of Goodhue Township.
The Board supported Cannon Valley Trail in applying for a federal grant. The grant will pay for an excavator, which is needed to clear ditches and culverts that have filled with eroded material over the 25 years of the trail's life. A 25% local match will be paid for by user fees.
Months of negotiations between Goodhue County, Goodhue County Sheriff's Department, and the City of Red Wing Police came to a happy end with the agreement of a Shared Use Agreement for the Law Enforcement Center. The Agreement will take effect in January 2014, as the last of the construction bonds are paid off, and the County assumes ownership of the Center.
Rotary Service above
The winner of the Service above Self Award for 2012 is Officer Hermann Von Knobelsdorff of the County Sheriff's Department. Von Knobelsdorff has been active as a volunteer serving county youth for many years, giving his time for everything from firearms safety training to winter sleighrides.
After the meeting, Commissioner Dan Rechtzigel told this reporter of plans for the current site of the vacated Kenyon school. 1st Lutheran Church of Kenyon has used funds earmarked for property and buildings to buy the site, and plans to build a senior center, which will be for both church and community use. Youth rooms will be part of the new facility.