Council approves contract to rebuild Monegan Road

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Whitefish plans to reconstruct a portion of Monegan Road on the eastern city limits.

City Council last week approved awarding a construction bid of just under $400,000 to Knife River for the work. The gravel road will be reconstructed from the Voerman Road intersection to the entrance to the city’s Park Maintenance Building about 1,500 feet south of Voerman.

The work includes asphalt surfacing, safety improvements, drainage improvements and utility coordination. The goal of the project is to bring the roadway to current city engineering standards, according to Public Works Director Craig Workman. The reconstruction is called for in the 2009 Whitefish Transportation plan.

The road will have a paved width of 24 feet with 2 feet gravel shoulders and swale side slopes.

A challenge of the project was how to preserve a large diameter pine tree near the intersection of Monegan and Voerman roads. The proximity of the tree to the roadway made it nearly impossible to conduct any excavation in the roadway or the ditch without disturbing the root structure and the proximity of the tree to the rural road without curb and gutter also presented a safety issue, Workman noted.

Workman said to find a solution to protect the tree, a change to the design of the project will install 200 feet of curb and gutter along Monegan near the tree.

“The Parks Department put fencing around the tree [to protect it from the construction in Trail View], and it didn’t make sense for us to come behind and cut it down,” Workman said. “We were able to work together to find a solution.”

Councilor Richard Hildner was glad to see the tree remain.

“I appreciate the effort to find ways to preserve the tree,” he said.

The Monegan Road project is planned to be funded through the city’s Bridge and Road Safety and Accountability Act Fund — or gas tax fund — as well as the stormwater fund. In addition, one-third of the project is being paid for through a contribution from the developer of the Trail View subdivision.

A shared use path is also being designed to connect the Creekwood sidewalk system with the Trail View shared use path. The path will either be bid as a future phase or added as a change later to this phase of the project.

A future phase of the project is expected to also continue the road improvements south to JP Road.

Council also:

• Approved a request from Stuart Bray for a conditional use permit to construct an accessory apartment at 19 Minnesota Avenue.

• Approved a request from David Radatti of Mindful Designs for a conditional use permit to construct an accessory apartment at 1455 Barkley Lane.

• Approved an ordinance to rezone two parcels annexed into city limits located at 6045 Highway 93 South to secondary business district.

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