Following a public hearing Monday night, the Worthington City Council approved a resolution ordering improvements and preparation of plans for paving along 27th Street.
The paving work will encompass an area of 27th Street from 1,300 feet to 2,570 feet west of U.S. 59 and will serve as a means to entering the new Cemstone concrete plant under construction. The land is currently owned by the Worthington Economic Development Authority and being leased by Cemstone, which will ultimately pay assessments for the paving work on 27th Street advanced Monday by council.
Travis Winter, principal engineer at Bolton & Menk, described the scope of the project and its related alternatives. Council members were presented with a bituminous pavement option that carried a total estimated cost of $487,100, while a concrete pavement option had a total estimated cost of $604,650.
Councilman Chad Cummings recalled serving on the Brewster City Council and having an issue with a paving project near the Minnesota Soybean Processors plant. He suggested concrete would likely hold up better given the frequent and repetitive traffic patterns of loaded concrete trucks utilizing the new 27th Street roadway.
Councilman Chris Kielblock agreed with Cummings, adding that concrete would almost certainly require less upkeep than bituminous over time. Worthington City Administrator Steve Robinson noted that defects with concrete are typically minimal, while Assistant City Administrator and Director of Economic Development Jason Brisson pointed out that even though the cost of the concrete option was 24 percent more than that for bituminous, the concrete would have a 50 percent longer life span.
Regardless of the council’s decision on the matter, Winter said the plans for the work would go out as soon as possible and bids subsequently submitted. He hoped that work on paving would begin around the start of October and be completed by early to mid-November, depending on weather and potential other factors.
The council also heard from John Cunningham, executive director of the Aggregate & Ready Mix Association of Minnesota, who said his organization would be available to provide guidance and resources on the project if desired. At the start of his remarks, Cunningham also acknowledged Kielbock’s and Brisson’s point about the long-term financial savings of concrete over bituminous.
Ultimately, the council voted unanimously to move forward with the concrete option. The city’s share for non-assessable costs is $302,326.50, while the assessments receivable portion is $302,323.50.