MDOT and St. James city officials met Nov. 7 to discuss the 2016 replacement of Minnesota Highway 4 and Minnesota Highway 30 through St. James.
St. James will be replacing the current road with concrete and completely redoing the infrastructure below – some of which is about 100 years old.
Sidewalks and curb cuts must meet ADA specifications along the newly rebuilt road and the city is hoping to avoid complications that might arise in the business district, where sidewalks must also comply to ADA regulations.
City Manager Joe McCabe is unsure how many businesses will be effected by the changes, but will be discussing the issues with them on a one to one basis or at an informative meeting over the next two to three months.
Business owners would be responsible for the changes on their property, but may be eligible for city assistance of various kinds.
Along with rebuilding the road, St. James will be widening or adding boulevards, limiting the number of road accesses, narrowing parking lanes so they are uniform and adding or subtracting some city lights.
Overall, early estimates suggest the project will cost about $10 million, with MDOT covering $4 to $5 million.
During the next few years, the city of St. James will be making efforts to locate grants to pay for their portion of the bill. Another option the city will look into is contacting the Public Facilities Authority for funding. The PFA is a state agency that allows cities to borrow money at a reduced interest rate.