Last night was the I-35 Committee 1 meeting. Lesson learned:


What will it cost to upgrade this Co. Rd. 1 and Co. Rd. 46 intersection to handle the ultimate planned buildout, which, with area growth projected in the county transportation plan, goes from 400 trips/day to 9,270 trips/day east west on Co. Rd. 1, and from 160 trips/day to 4,400 trips/day north south on Co. Rd. 46. What will it cost to tear down the Co. Rd. 1 bridge and rebuild it to 4 lane or wider with turn lanes? Who is going to pay?


The committee was presented with the traffic information yesterday, and Leif Knecht is considering the costs of infrastructure for the I-35 development, and he’s on to something here. He started out on infrastructure costs clarifying that though we know it’ll only be an estimate, a range to expect, we need to know how much it will cost. He also said that we should be aware of what the costs would be NOT to develop the area.

Transportation infrastructure, there are huge costs, and the impact of development will be felt 10 miles in each direction for the anticipated 11 million square feet, so we should expect infrastructure costs in the ballpark of $70-100 million. We need this information, we need to understand up front what we?re buying into, and to know that there aer reverberations in terms of costs. In addition to the specific infrastructure costs, part of that is environmental and lifestyle issues too, there will be increased traffic, increased crime. When are we going to address those larger concerns?

The consultant’s answer to this question was not encouraging. He said that this would be addressed primarily in mitigation, after sending it out to the agencies.

My question: If it happens only AFTER it is sent to the agencies, how will agencies be able to review for reasonableness and feasibility and completeness and accuracy and whateve else the agencies will check? How will citizens be able to comment on it if that information is not available until the mitigation phase? The mitigation phase is AFTER the public comment period, it is the phase where public comments are addressed. THIS IS A PROBLEM.

Leif’s response to their timing suggestion?

We may find that the cost analysis says this is a good investment, this is a good move, but until we have the cost analysis, I?m a little nervous.

Tom McMahon, Dundas engineer, was also questioning the plan of doing the infrastructure in the order planned, that if Phase I businesses go up around the Co. Rd. 1 and Co. Rd. 46 intersection, and then after they’re built the Co. Rd. 1 Interstate 35 bridge comes down and is rebuilt, those business will be without access.

Are the consultants paying attention?

The good news is that it seems the original timeline, which anticipated the AUAR would be distributed to state agencies in July, well, it is not going to happen. That is good, and I expect, not hope, EXPECT, that the information needs identified by the group will be incorporated in.


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