January 15, 2010 CONTACT: James T. Foldesi, St. Louis County Public Works Director/Highway Engineer, Duluth, MN
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 218-625-3840 (office) 218-590-6721 (cell)
Meadowlands Public Works Facility Opens For Business
St. Louis County has completed the construction of a new Public Works facility in Meadowlands, located at 9967 Hwy. #133. Built in 1937, the original building was too small to accommodate new, larger maintenance equipment and had reached the end of its useful life. After an evaluation by Damberg, Scott, Gerzina, and Wagner Architects Inc. (DSGW) and county staff, it was determined that a complete replacement was appropriate.
Construction of the new 17,600 square foot public works maintenance facility began in June of 2009 by Johnson Wilson Constructors of Duluth MN. The design team consisted of DSGW as architect, Northland Consulting Engineers as structural engineers, Foster Jacobs and Johnson as mechanical and electrical engineers, and Bocht Engineering for site work. During construction, the Meadowlands crew worked out of the county’s Floodwood facility. On December 23, 2009, the Meadowlands crew moved into the new facility, just in time for the Christmas snow storm.
Seventh District Commissioner Steve Raukar, current County Board Chair and former Chair of the county’s Public Works Committee, said, “The new building is a testament to the county’s commitment to maintaining a fair and equitable high level of service in all areas of the county by continually investing in the county’s infrastructure to meet the expectations of our taxpayers.” The new structure is located on the same site to serve the public in the most efficient manner possible. Building construction is finished, but site work including paving and landscaping still needs to be completed. It is anticipated that the entire project will be finished by mid-summer of 2010. An open house for the public will be scheduled once the site work is complete.
The facility was built for less than $2 million and is constructed of durable, minimal maintenance materials to reduce long term life cycle costs while minimizing initial costs, and its energy efficient design will reduce costs of operation and overhead. The building includes office space, a mechanical shop, store room, locker rooms, a lunch room/meeting area and a warm equipment storage area.
The Meadowlands facility serves the Meadowlands area, encompassing 150 miles of county roads. The facility is optimally located to efficiently maintain the 43 miles of blacktop and 107 miles of gravel roads. The Meadowlands crew also serves two townships, maintaining an additional 22 miles of township roads. This work is accomplished by a road maintenance supervisor, six equipment operators, and a heavy equipment mechanic. Their fleet includes an excavator, five tandem dump trucks, 2 graders, a loader, mowers, and miscellaneous other pieces of equipment.
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