Work continues toward Concord Street rehab

The South St. Paul City Council on March 4 unanimously approved a revised memorandum of understanding and Joint Powers Agreement with the Minnesota Department of Transportation regarding the planned rehabilitation of Concord Street.

Currently under the jurisdiction of the state, the agreement would turn Concord back to Dakota County and the city. The street is up for roadway, pedestrian facility and drainage improvements, at an estimated cost of around $30 million.

The council already approved a memorandum with MnDOT and Dakota County in October of last year said Lee Elfering, city engineer. The memo was sent to MnDOT, but its council wanted a few changes to its language.

“Every attorney wants a few tweaks to the verbiage,” Elfering said.

One of the city’s intents with the memo was to fund its utility costs inside the corridor — MnDOT altered parts related to that, but didn’t significantly change the meaning.

The other request by MnDOT was a revision to one of its own intents. Elfering said the original intent was that MnDOT would provide funding, but it was requested that be changed to “seek funding.”

The JPA covers the design services for the project and two proposals for that work were received in October 2018, coming in at just over $2.5 million. The JPA states the city and MnDOT will share that cost evenly, Elfering said. 

“The city will be the lead agency,” Elfering said, adding it will be the one to hire and pay the invoices for consultants. 

The city will be reimbursed by MnDOT as costs are incurred. Elfering said the JPA ensures that MnDOT will fund 50 percent of the design contract. 

Throughout the design process, Elfering said they will get ongoing estimates for project costs.

“Right now, everything is based on some rough numbers, some assumptions, with no design being done,” Elferling said. 

Council member Tom Seaberg asked for clarification, asking if the city will “be made whole” for 100 percent of the design cost when the road is turn backed. Elferling said the turn back agreement will address the other 50 percent of the design cost being reimbursed to the city.


—Hannah Burlingame

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