Bike lane contract bids to be awarded

Published 10:00 am Monday, March 28, 2011

Albert Lea’s first bike lanes are one final step away from becoming a reality.

During the Albert Lea City Council meeting tonight, council members are expected to accept bids and award the contract for the paint striping for the lanes, which will go on Front Street from U.S. Highway 69 to Frank Avenue.

The route will connect to the Blazing Star Trail.

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The project was approved in a 3-2 vote in November.

At that time, the project was estimated to cost around $39,000 for the initial construction, including signs, and between $15,000 and $20,000 in annual maintenance costs.

Under that estimation, all but $4,000 of the initial costs would be covered in grants from the Statewide Health Improvement Program, Pioneering Healthier Communities and Albert Lea Medical Center.

SHIP is donating $10,000, Pioneering Healthier Communities $20,000 and ALMC $5,000. ALMC has committed $5,000 a year for the next three years.

Supporters hope this is just the first of several bike lanes in the community.

In other action, the City Council is also expected to:

• Vote whether to accept bids and award the contract for the 2011 neighborhood improvement project.

• Vote whether to put signs at the three boat landings owned by the city, warning people of invasive species, including curly leaf pondweed.

The intent of the signs is to promote proper cleaning of boats, jet skis and canoes, before entering the lake and after exiting the lake, according to background information from the city.

• Vote whether to approve a 30-minute parking request on 204 S. Washington Ave. for Coldwell Banker, which recently moved into the building, along with North American Title.

• Vote whether to amend the joint powers agreement with the South Central Drug Investigation Unit to reflect minor additions, including a description of the SWAT team’s operations, along with specific insurance wordage.

• Hear an update concerning the city manager position.