Improvements for Eden Prairie’s second-to-last gravel road are moving ahead without objections.
The Eden Prairie City Council on Tuesday, Jan. 16, voted to proceed with the reconstruction of Dell Road between Crestwood Terrace and County Road 61 (Flying Cloud Drive). Adding trail, sewer, water, and storm drainage improvements to the road work brings the price tag to $8.4 million, about $1.2 million of which will be assessed to neighboring properties.
Several residents asked questions about the details of the project at Tuesday’s public hearing, but no objections were raised.
It’s a challenging project. The city will build a 32-foot-wide, two-lane collector street through wooded land, with curb and gutter along it and an 8-foot-wide asphalt trail. The steep slopes along the road will require the city to build retaining walls, estimated in the city’s feasibility report to vary in height from 5 to 20 feet. The road segment – about four-tenths of a mile – also crosses Riley Creek and requires the replacement of a culvert.
Mayor Ron Case acknowledged that some residents might, for nostalgic reasons, hate to see one of Eden Prairie’s last gravel roads turned to pavement.
“There are those people, maybe that don’t live along there, maybe that do, but people across the city that have loved and appreciated the ambiance of driving down an historic gravel road in Eden Prairie, and wishing to keep that one last remnant. I get that,” he said Tuesday.
But, he added, this is a gravel road on a steep hillside, susceptible to erosion, that can impact the water in Riley Creek. “This (gravel road) has a major negative impact on the creek, and so we are solving a tremendously huge environmental, ecological issue as well,” said Case.
State-aid road funds would pay for about $4.4 million of the project. The city’s share, paid from its utility funds, will be about $2.8 million.
The schedule has the city opening construction bids in October and awarding a contract in November. The project would be substantially complete in November 2025. A final assessment hearing would be held in October 2026, and nearby property owners would see those assessments on their 2027 property tax bills. Some assessments could be deferred until homeowners leave their septic systems and water wells behind and hook up to city sewer and water.
About 70% of the $1.2 million being assessed would be billed to owners of the 30.5-acre Marshall Farm at 9905 Dell Road, which city officials say has the potential to eventually be developed into 52 home lots.
The other remaining gravel road in Eden Prairie is a portion of Valley Road, also in southwestern EP.
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