SAINT PAUL (March 26, 2019) – Today, the City of Saint Paul announced the Public Works Department will oversee a 1.5-mile mill and overlay project on Ayd Mill Road from I-35E to Selby Avenue. The project was originally scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2021, but conditions on the road, and on-going maintenance costs, necessitate an earlier completion of the project.
“Ayd Mill Road is one of the busiest city streets in Saint Paul carrying approximately 24,000 vehicles per day. It has also been the most costly street to maintain,” said Kathy Lantry, Director of Public Works. “The ongoing efforts to regularly patch and maintain the road are expensive and are no longer sufficient or sustainable. We cannot wait until 2021 to undertake this project.”
The exact timing for the Fall 2019 project has not been determined, but the cost of the project is initially estimated at $3.5 million. A mill and overlay is a standard street maintenance technique that grinds, or uses a milling machine to remove the top two inches of pavement. After the top layer is removed, a new layer of bituminous pavement is put in its place with a paver.
The mill and overlay project on Ayd Mill Road will not involve any major re-alignment of the roadway or any reconfiguration of the traffic lanes. Ayd Mill Road will remain a four-lane divided street. The potential for adding bike lanes and pedestrian improvements to the roadway will not be included in this year’s mill and overlay project. The City will begin looking at options for making bike and pedestrian improvements in the near future.
Public Works assesses the condition of each street at least every three years in order to develop a 5-year plan for larger projects. The biggest factors considered for street reconstruction or mill and overlay work are the pavement condition index rating, traffic volume, and ongoing maintenance efforts. The 5-year plan is subject to amendments related to available funding and changing road conditions. Typically, the City of Saint Paul mills and overlays 3 to 5 miles of roadway each year. In 2019, Saint Paul Public Works is planning to mill and overlay more than 7 miles.
Brief History of Ayd Mill Road
Ayd Mill Road, once named Short Line Road, was originally constructed in 1960 as a below-grade limited link between I-35E and I-94. In 1965, Short Line Road opened with connections at Selby Avenue and Jefferson Avenue, with no direct connection to either interstate. In 1992, Saint Paul created a temporary connection to I-35E to help with traffic congestion from construction near downtown Saint Paul. In 2003, Saint Paul reopened the connection to I-35E.
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Lisa Hiebert, APR
Saint Paul Public Works