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Hwy 10 project tops $60 million

Hold on to your armrests. Here's the Highway 10 project by the numbers:

The project will cost $60-plus million, the most expensive project ever in Region 4 of the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The total project cost is $62.65 million, according to Transportation District Engineer Lee Berget.

The project cost is $48.45 million, not including building removal or right-of-way costs. Building removal came in at $200,000, and right-of-way -- buying the land the project will go on -- is $14 million.

The way the $48.45 breaks down is $32.5 million for construction, $6 million for the railroad agreement with Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Canadian Pacific Rail, $8.3 million for railroad grading which took place last year, $1.2 million for the signal at Highway 59 and Highway 34, and $450,000 for early steel, which is the railing seen at the Roosevelt Avenue underpass along the railroad.

Berget said there will be some costs for staff time in the end, but those are the main, and major, numbers for the project.

Now, for where that $62.65 million is coming from.

In 2000, the project received $5.2 million from surplus funds from the Legislature. In 2003, $10.45 million came from the Pawlenty Morrow Bond Accelerator Fund.

Federal funds make up $30 million, and $17 million comes from state funds.

"No property taxes are involved in this at all," Berget said.

The city of Detroit Lakes has some costs involved in curb and gutter and the frontage road. Berget said there is a set policy on what determines the city share.

"It's not just a random event," he said.

Detroit Lakes' share comes out to $1.6 million, according to City Finance Officer Lou Guzek. A major portion of those funds, $616,000, is for the city's share of signal systems throughout the project.

Other portions the money will cover are sewer and water main replacement along what will be the new frontage road -- now the existing Highway 10 -- and some stormwater expenses.

A portion of the funds needed will come from Municipal State Aid, or state money, but Guzek said it hasn't been determined how much yet.

"We might have to sell MSA bonds (for the remaining portion) because we don't have enough in our accounts," he said. The city is allowed to borrow against future MSA allocations.

Forty percent of the city's share has already been paid, Guzek said, and the remaining portion will need to be paid by April 2008.

The previous most expensive Region 4 project was Highway 336 "cut-across," which connects Highway 10 to Interstate 94 near Dilworth, which cost $26 million.

Construction crews have started median removals along Highway 10 for this year's work and are installing crossovers on Highway 10 at the east end of the project.

This week's work also includes installing sediment ponds around Big Detroit Lake and clearing and grubbing for the new County Road 53/54 alignment, Mn/DOT public relations officer Judy Jacobs said.

Mn/DOT is giving weekly updates on the Web site

The boat access near Holiday Inn will be closed for two years.

Berget said rail work will begin in mid-May because the railroad is waiting for an automatic track layer to arrive, which is one of only two in the nation. Once the tracks are laid and switched, the construction on Highway 10 will begin.