On Nov. 4th, Gramsie Road was reopened to traffic. Please drive carefully as the speed limit through the temporarily-fixed section is just 25 MPH.
(Update: At the Nov. 3 Bikeways & Trails Committee meeting, City of Shoreview staff engineer David Yang informed the group that a temporary fix is in place so Gramsie Road can be traveled on again through the winter months. After the road is restriped sometime next week, it will be reopened to the public.)
Motorists & pedestrians who travel Gramsie Road in southeast Shoreview may be frustrated because of its road block signs, but ironically, the City of Shoreview may have reason to celebrate the maxim “when it rains it pours.”
That’s because part way through a planned reconstruction of Gramsie, rains and low-lying topography combined to wreak a natural havoc on the road project, but well before contractors had a chance to put the finishing touches on it.
The flooding on the road and nearby Snail Lake Regional Park trail loop have quickly become a top concern for administrators and the City Council, who recently signaled their intent to shelve a trail extension on County Raod J to free up financial resources and get Gramsie functional again.
Unfortunately, a permanent fix for Gramsie Road won’t likely be made until 2017, and even if water levels recede this fall, Gramsie may remain closed due to the tenuous condition of the base layer of road currently in place.
City employees are closely tracking the record water levels in this area, but given the high cost of doing any water redirection, future progress will be made on a wait-and-see basis.
Engineers are also working to determine the cost and height calculations necessary for raising Gramsie Road to a sufficient level, and it is currently believed the added height will need to be a minimum of 24 inches for 700 feet of roadway.
Plans still include establishing a trail crossing at grade to provide an option for bicyclists and pedestrians at times when the tunnel below is obstructed. In conjunction with the future finishing of Gramsie, a portion of the pedestrian trail is likely to be rerouted to higher ground to help maintain as much accessibility to it for walkers, rollers and pedalers as possible.
Update: At its Sept. 6 meeting, the Shoreview City Council passed a Change Order for Gramsie Road Rehabilitation, an action that increased the original cost of the Gramsie Road project $183,231 to a total of $715,144. The additional cost will both raise the road by 2 feet and cover the expense of adding a trail segment near Gramsie Road to help pedestrians and bikers avoid water at a lower level trail. After City Public Works Director Mark Maloney reiterated the possibility of this work not being done until spring 2017, the council discussed an interim solution to the flooding so the road is passable during the winter months. One proposed solution would be to add aggregrate (gravel) to the area for this to be achievable. The City is intent on doing all it can to get the 4,000 vehicles that drive Gramsie daily using this roadway, as well as reestablishing the road for easier emergency service access.
John is a member of the City of Shoreview’s Bikeways and Trails Committee. Additionally, he and family are the Adopt-a-Trail sponsors for an approximate 2 mile loop of trail in Snail Lake Regional Park, just to the north of the flooded area on Gramsie Road.