Bushaway Road construction projected to begin in August

Road will reopen to all traffic in November 2015, remain open to local traffic

Construction on Bushaway Road (County Road 101) is slated to begin August 13. An open house on the project will be scheduled to take place around the time construction begins. (Sun Sailor photo by Jason Jenkins)
Construction on Bushaway Road (County Road 101) is slated to begin August 13. An open house on the project will be scheduled to take place around the time construction begins. (Sun Sailor photo by Jason Jenkins)

Bushaway Road is one step closer to getting its long-discussed facelift – and it’s expected to take less time than the three years originally projected.

Wayzata City Engineer Mike Kelly presented an update on the Bushaway Road construction project during the June 17 council meeting. The city engineer said the bid opening for the project is scheduled for July 15, with a construction start of August 13.

The project extends from north of Minnetonka Boulevard to U.S. Highway 12 at Wayzata Boulevard and includes the reconstruction of lanes in both directions.

Woodland granted their final approval on the project June 9 with Minnetonka considering final plan approval June 23. Kelly said BNSF Railway Co. has stated they will sign an agreement with Hennepin County June 26 to lower railroad tracks beneath the bridge that will be reconstructed, a step the city engineer said is key in moving the project forward.

“Without the lowering of the railroad, I don’t think this project would be moving forward – so that’s a huge step,” the city engineer said.

 Reconstruction of the bridge over the railroad is proposed for the third stage of the project January-April 2015.

Kelly said other pieces of the puzzle that have fallen into place are approval of state aid for the roundabout at Breezy Point curve and Hennepin County’s approved agreement with Minnehaha Creek Watershed District and obtaining of a construction stormwater permit. The city engineer said Wayzata’s second draft of its construction cooperative agreement is also underway.

The project was initially highly controversial, but since August 2013 the Bushaway Task Force has worked closely with Hennepin County officials to produce construction plans. The task force has worked with county officials to address community concerns, and to ensure the historic nature of the byway is preserved as much as possible.

  The project is expected to be completed in four stages, with Bushaway Road being reopened to all traffic in November 2015. Staging dates are subject to change.

Stage one: August-October 2014

• Construction on McGinty Road

• Work on Eastman Lane utilities

• Eastman Lane closed to through traffic (open to local traffic)

• Bushaway Road open to all traffic

Stage two: October-December 2014

• Removal of existing bridge over railroad (bridge will remain open until October 10)

• Construction on McGinty Road

• Work on Eastman Lane utilities

• Eastman Lane closed to through traffic (open to local traffic)

• Bushaway Road closed to through traffic (open to local traffic)

Stage three: January-April 2015

• Work on Bushaway Road utilities

• Work in rail corridor

• Construction of new bridge over railroad

• Eastman Lane open to all traffic

• Bushaway Road closed to through traffic (open to local traffic)

Stage four: May-November 2015

• Work on Bushaway Road utilities

• Work in rail corridor

• Construction of new bridge over railroad

• Eastman Lane open to all traffic

• Bushaway Road closed to through traffic (open to local traffic), expected to reopen to all traffic by the end of November 2015

Work on trails, retaining walls and final grading and restoration will continue into 2016.

 Kelly said a communication plan to provide information on the road construction is in the works and should be rolled out in July.

The city engineer said the communication plan will give timely information to help notify residents, businesses and commuters of updates and any unforeseen road closures.

“It’s going to be an active construction site with a lot of utilities that are happening, and if something pops up, we want to be able to get it out as quickly as we can,” Kelly said.

Updates on the project will be shared through the city’s website and social media outlets like Facebook.

Updates on Hennepin County’s website and social media will also work to provide up-to-date information.    Hennepin County has also proposed in its contract to include a communications specialist for the project to keep audiences updated.

Kelly said the Wayzata will adopt an “open for business” campaign during the construction. He said the city will place additional signage on roads to let drivers how to get in and out of the city through the construction. He also said meetings will take place with local businesses to work through issues that may arise.

Plans are also in the works to schedule an open house on the project around the time construction starts. The meeting will give the public a chance to learn more about the selected contractor and receive more information on how the construction will impact the community.

Contact Jason Jenkins at [email protected]