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St. James City Council Discusses Highway Upgrade

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Before construction begins on two major highways in town, St. James city council met  Tuesday night to discuss areas in need of repair

The upgrades of highway four and 30 won't begin until 2016 but officials began tonight to pinpoint what exactly needs attention.

Some things lying beneath these streets in St. James are due for an overhaul.

St. James mayor, Gary Sturm says, "Whether it's a new storm sewer, sanitary sewer, water main, whatever it would be. Some of the lines are anywhere from twenty years old to eighty years old under the street. So when MNDOT comes in and puts a new cement state highway 4 through, we want to have our infrastructure in prior."

St. James city officials say they have certain areas in mind they would like considered being a part of the highway 4 and 30 project bid package.

Sturm says, "According to MNDOTs estimates from 2013 they're basing this cost to be in St. James about $6.5 million. So what we need to do is start reviewing now ahead of 2016 of any kind of infrastructure that we're going to need to put in new."

To be fair to all city residents, the entire community will pay for the upgrade.

Sturm says, "Obviously the city will have to bond for it because we're not going to assess the abutting owners because they live along Armstrong. That would not be fair to our citizens. So it'll be an overall bond process that the entire community will pay over the next twenty years."

As discussions continue this year with the city's engineers, upgraded costs for the project will narrow down what the budget will allow the city to tackle in 2016.