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City, MnDOT talk costs for projects on Hwy. 10, 59

Meeting on a regular basis to discuss the future of Highway 10 west and Highway 59 south, the Minnesota Department of Transportation presented the City of Detroit Lakes with some cost estimates Tuesday.

"We've taken the estimate as far as we can," MnDOT Project Manager Tom Lundberg said.

That estimate comes in at about $10 million.

The project, which will include a frontage road from Holmes Street to the Walmart area with an underpass under Highway 59, would be split between the state and the city. Lundberg's estimate is broken down to $7.9 million from MnDOT and $2.6 million from the city.

Those estimates include a 1.08 percent inflation rate, since the project isn't scheduled to take place until 2015.

Lundberg also said that these are just the first estimates, and the city can look over the breakdown of costs and comment to the state about any adjustments.

He also added that there will be more costs to the city for items that don't include the state, like signals, holding ponds, multi-use trails and utility work done at Morrow Street and Thomas Avenue.

"We really easily could be looking at another $300,000 in utility work," City Engineer Jon Pratt said.

Lundberg said he would like to have a public meeting for comment and input in March and then have the item on the April council agenda for approval.

"Based on policy and how we would look at any city, but it's open for interpretation," he said of the cost sharing of the project, encouraging the city to analyze the numbers and get back to him. "No one wants to pay the big bill, but everyone likes the project."

The city has also reached out to the Canadian Pacific Railroad about stopping trains farther south to not block the crossing that will be utilized even more when the underpass is in place.

City Administrator Bob Louiseau said that he has gotten no response from the CP Line. Lundberg said that MnDOT could possibly help, since there is someone with the state that specifically works with the railroads.

Another highway project coming up is the roundabout at Highway 59 and Willow Street. That project is planned for 2014.

The $2.5 million project will also be shared with the city, which will pay about $480,000 of the project.

Though some city council aldermen still disagree with the roundabout project, it will continue to move forward. Lundberg said that although he's not managing that project, he understands that it doesn't need municipal consent because it is safety related.

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter at @PippiMayfield.