Osseo Explores Plan To Replace Sidewalk Pavers
Osseo’s Central Avenue is a popular gathering spot for food and conversation. When it comes to the sidewalks, it’s a look some appreciate.
“Definitely like the look of the tiles,” said Ava McTeague, who was dining at one of the Central Avenue restaurants. “I think it looks nice.”
“It just kind of gives that retro look,” said Olivia Carel, another restaurant-goer.”
The “tiles” they’re referring to are concrete pavers that make up the primary walking surface of Central Avenue. The pavers go on for several blocks, however, many have seen better days.
“The condition of the pavers has deteriorated through the years,” said Alyson Fauske, Osseo’s city engineer with WSB & Associates.
Fauske says the pavers have fallen victim to Minnesota’s unforgiving freeze/thaw cycle.
“What we’re anticipating has happened is the water has gone down through [the cracks], it freezes, and when it freezes it expands, and then the top part kind of pops off,” she said.
Not only is it a bad look, it’s also a safety hazard.
“If you’re just walking and having a conversation, or looking down at your phone, it’s definitely an easy place to trip,” said Kyla McTeague, a restaurant-goer.
“The first thing I think about is how difficult it could probably be for wheelchair accessible people,” said Carel.
The city has done patchwork fixes on the pavers, but that’s only temporary.
The condition of the pavers was among the topics discussed during an Osseo City Council meeting on June 12.
“It’s unfortunate that we have to deal with this problem,” said Osseo City Council Member Mark Schulz during the June 12 meeting. “It was a pet project for a couple of council members. They wanted to see this happen, and it’s costing us now another million dollars.”
Schulz is referring to the cost of a proposed project to replace the pavers with more traditional concrete. The council voted that evening to approve a feasibility study to determine the full cost and scope.
While it’s not a done-deal, city officials say the days of the pavers could be numbered.
“I think the big driver would be safety,” Fauske said. “And the council certainly expressed that that’s a very important topic.”
City leaders say the feasibility study should be complete this fall, at which point the city council will decide whether the project moves forward. Any work to replace the pavers would likely begin next spring.