Driving County Roads

An on line journal sharing my views. The content reflects my background as a rural person employed in agriculture and as a retired elected official of local government.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"Getting It Done"

There are ways to do highway projects even though funds are lacking or even not available locally. A county has the option to use four different grant programs. The money is from the Department of Public Safety. The one Nicollet County will be using is called the Comprehensive Highway Safety Program (CHSP). Nicollet County has identified a need to rectify potential safety concerns at the intersection of State Highway 99 and Nicollet County Road Number 40. It was desired to have a by-pass and right turn lane constructed there. Discussions with MnDot indicated there was no funding for this project. Nicollet County Highway Engineer, Mike Wagner then went through the hoops to access grant funds from the Comprehensive Highway Safety Program. Nicollet County got written support from the City of St. Peter, Oshawa Township and Traverse Township.
The bid opening for the project resulted in a low bid of $116,985.00. The county engineer's estimate was $126,576.25. As a result, the Nicollet County Board of Commissioners accepted the low bid on December 11 and the project is good to go using grant money for covering the entire cost.
An additional requirement for obtaining the grant is to hold a local safety meeting. This meeting will involve safety partners and other community leaders such as law enforcement, emergency responders, Mn/DOT District representatives, school representatives, and township officials. The goal of the meeting is to develop a dialog among local safety advocatesto explain the CHSP and Towards Zero Death (TZD) goals and objectives. This meeting will give the various partners a chance to share individual efforts to reduce fatalities and look for ways to cooperate in future strategies that will encompass not only engineering strategiesbut also enforcement, education and emergency services strategies. While this is a grant project, funding may be a topic of the safety meeting, there should be time allotted for participates to share their initiatives and time for discussion and questions. The meeting will be held at the Oshawa Township Hall sometime in January. The local initiative by our county staff has resulted in a project that will save injuries and possibly lives. end

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