No narrowing for Crystal Lake Road

Burnsville tees up annual street projects

With neighborhood support for narrowing the road fizzling, the Burnsville City Council voted Tuesday to leave a stretch of Crystal Lake Road East the same width when street repairs are done this year.

The council ordered numerous street projects, including Crystal Lake Road, as part of its annual street improvement program.

Earlier this year a majority of Crystal Lake Road homeowners between Lac Lavon Drive and Chicago Avenue registered their support for narrowing that segment to slow traffic and give it more of a neighborhood parkway feel.

The support was shown in a petition brought by the neighborhood. Narrowing would have required more expensive road reconstruction rather than the reclamation project the council approved Tuesday.

The added cost was estimated at $195,000, which included relocating the sidewalk on the north side. Homeowner assessments for a 90-foot-wide lot were estimated at $4,660, compared with $1,575 for the reclamation project, according to the city.

The city’s share of the extra cost would have been $105,000, which left one resident who doesn’t live on Crystal Lake Road but frequently bikes and walks it “befuddled.”

“I don’t see for a light, cosmetic reason, spending $100,000 out of the general budget when we have so many other needs in this community,” Hollis Vowels, 15010 Oakland Ave., said during a public hearing. Vowels said she’s been visiting Crystal Beach on Crystal Lake Road for more than 40 years.

The tide of homeowner opinion “that came in in January has gone back out again,” said Randall Ross, 1116 Crystal Lake Road, who originally signed the petition supporting narrowing but later recanted.

In ballots the city sent to homeowners in February, not widening the road garnered 14 votes compared with three for one of two widening options. A new petition emerged, signed by 12 homeowners opposed to widening, according to the city.

Crystal Lake Road is part of $4.53 million in planned street reclamations, which involve replacing pavement and the gravel base underneath and replacing damaged sections of curb. Projects include some sewer improvements and streetlight replacement.

Project areas are North Crystal Lake, Highland Forest 4th and 5th Additions, Crosstown Estates 2nd Addition, Knoll Circle and the Portland Avenue cul-de-sac.

Special assessments will cover 18 percent of the cost, according to the city, whose infrastructure trust fund is the largest contributor at 65 percent.

Also planned is a $730,000 street rehabilitation on Greenhaven Drive, Greenhaven Lane and Burnhaven Drive. Rehabilitation includes milling of the road surface and new pavement, along with replacing failing curb and gutter and sidewalks, and some utility repair.

Assessments will cover 31 percent of the cost, according to the city.

No full reconstruction projects are planned for 2017 in order to avoid watermain replacement at the same time the city’s groundwater treatment plant is being renovated, City Engineer Ryan Peterson said.