The West St. Paul City Council on Monday is scheduled to sign off on landscaping for the reconstruction of Robert Street, deciding whether or not to add more trees to the plan.
The city is counting on a $22 million overhaul of Robert Street to transform its main commercial route from a hazardous stretch of concrete into an attractive main street that will boost the entire city’s image.
City Council Member Jenny Halverson was disappointed to learn that the plans did not provide boulevard trees up and down the 2.5-mile stretch.
SRF engineers initially said there was not room for boulevard trees on the sidewalk. Now it says it would be possible to add trees at a cost of $2,500 to $3,000 per tree to pay for grates, irrigation, soil and adjustment to utilities under the sidewalk. Depending on spacing, that could mean adding $500,000 to the cost.
Robert Street typically carries 16,000 to 26,000 vehicles per day and has a crash rate 89 percent higher than comparable four-lane roads, the state says.