21st Street Improvements, City of Blue Earth, Minnesota

21st Street Improvements

Icon of City of Blue Earth, Minnesota

City of Blue Earth, Minnesota

A quarter-mile-long, low volume, gravel road along the southern city limits was owned and maintained by the city. The road connected to TH 169 and provided secondary access to residential and agricultural land. It also served as the primary access for Darling International, a livestock rendering facility generating more than 40 truckloads per day. In addition to heavy commercial traffic, drainage conditions were poor, causing subsurface soils to remain saturated after heavy rain or frost conditions. The result was an unstable road, completely impassable at times.

The city struggled with how to pay for improvements and instead dumped $15,000 worth of gravel on the road annually. Access was restricted during extreme conditions. Bolton & Menk identified the Minnesota Local Road Improvement Program (LRIP) as the perfect funding opportunity. The city successfully received LRIP grant dollars covering 100 percent of the costs to elevate the road, improve drainage, and surface with concrete pavement.

The road now requires significantly less maintenance and will remain open regardless of subsurface conditions; an accomplishment with little expense to the city.

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