By Barbie Porter
The Frazee City Council is throwing its hat in the ring for a grant to reconstruct South River Drive.
The council approved a resolution of support for the grant application at its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 16.
South River Drive is connected to 10-ton design roads that lead to major thoroughfares such as Becker County Highway 10 and East Main Avenue, which leads to State Highway 87 and onto U.S. Highway 10.
The city hopes to reconstruct about 2,000 feet of the road between Becker County Highway 10 and East Main Avenue.
The city engineer Kris Carlson, of Ulteig, emphasized there are no guarantees that the city will get the grant funding, but encouraged the council to move forward with the application.
In addition to the approved council resolution, letters of support for the project were presented by the Becker County Board of Commissioners, Frazee Fire Chief Joe Nelson,
Nelson said the road is starting to show “significant distress at various locations” and having a 10-ton road would be safe for all users. He also mentioned the road offers the only underpass crossing of the Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railroad located within the city.
“This is important to note, in that this underpass significantly reduces emergency response times when trains are present,” Nelson wrote. “The city, on average, experiences as many as five trains per hour, depending on time of day and season. Reconstructing South River Drive will restore this section of roadway to a reliable state of repair, which will allow this route toe remain available for emergency vehicles.”
Also penning letters of support were Tyler Trieglaff, Frazee Police Chief and rescue squad president, Frazee-Vergas School Superintendent Terry Karger and United Community Insurance agent Rita Stelzer.
In addition to providing emergency vehicles access to both sides of town regardless if a train is at a city crossing, the underpass and road are often frequently used by local residents.
The application also notes the proposed project would provide consideration for the pedestrian traffic along the corridor. Currently the shoulder margin is slim, as one side of the road abuts the river bank.
The Local Road improvement Program grant is administered by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The amount of funding requested was $496,000 with local or other funding stating to be $100,000.