Golden Valley City Council Approves $8.8M Bid for Highway 55 Underpass, Roundabout
The Golden Valley City Council approved an $8.8 million bid for construction of a roundabout and pedestrian underpass at Highway 55 and Douglas Drive on May 2.
Construction work on the project is expected to start shortly and will continue into fall.
Project officials are expecting a 10-day closure of Highway 55 during the construction process. Closures are also expected on Douglas Drive.
“We have some traffic congestion and some safety concerns there so the mini roundabout will be to kind of help with the vehicle traffic on that south side of the intersection,” said RJ Kakach, assistant city engineer. “Obviously the underpass will make it a lot easier for walkers, bikers, rollerbladers to cross under the highway.”
The intersection is near Perpich Center for Arts Education and a Metro Transit bus stop. Down the street near Highway 55 and Wisconsin Avenue, a developer is proposing to construct a 302-unit apartment complex.
According to the city, many Perpich students taking public transit get dropped off on the north side of Highway 55 and have to cross six lanes of traffic before arriving at school. There is also a regional trail running north of Highway 55 near the intersection.
“As we know, Highway 55 is a big barrier for our community,” Kakach said.
Highway 55 Construction Plans
The precise timeline for the project is partly dependent on the material supply chain, Kakach said.
“The project will begin construction here this spring — the majority of the work, or I should say the heavy civil won’t start until Perpich is done with school so we’re not impacting them too greatly, so that’s early June,” he said. “The installation of the actual tunnel is based on deliver of the products. We preordered the material. If you remember, we had that approved late last year to preorder the material because there is quite the lead time on some of this stuff. We’re anticipating the actual tunnel to be installed late summer.”
The city hosted a public bid process to award the construction contract.
Of the five general contractors that bid for the project Minger Construction came in with the lowest offer. The Jordan, Minnesota-based contractor bid the project at $8.8 million.
Other bids came in as high as $9.6 million.
The state legislature allocated $6.5 million in bonding funds to the project in 2020.
Project officials are anticipating total project costs of $10.6 million.
Golden Valley budgeted $618,220 in street funding and $615,736 in sewer and water funding for the project. The Metropolitan Council’s Environmental Service Fund will contribute another $2.6 million to the project.
Kakach said Minger Construction uses approximately 25 percent minority and women-owned subcontractors.
“With the magnitude of this project and the deadlines and the closures, this project was best suited to have one general contractor oversee the work and hire some subcontractors as needed,” Kakach said.