FOLEY -- The wait for state bonding money could delay a Sauk Rapids road construction project yet again. Benton County officials have submitted a bonding request to the Governor's Office for about $1,500,000 to help pay for the "3 Up the Hill" project. But, County Engineer Chris Byrd says they must wait to see if their request is approved in a bonding bill before they can start the work.

The 2015 State Legislature won't wrap up until May and Byrd says a bonding bill is usually one of the last pieces of legislation to pass.  There's no guarantee Benton County will get the bonding money, but even if they do it could push the project back.  He says they were hoping to get the project started next May, but that's no guarantee.

Plans have been in the works for about two years to reconstruct 2nd Street North, also known as County Road 3.  If the county board chooses to bond for the money themselves, the project could be started next spring.  But, Byrd says commissioners feel because it is a regional corridor the state should help with the cost.

Byrd says some options include splitting the construction season between 2016 and 2017 but that could raise the cost. He says other possibilities include awarding the bid next year and doing the work in 2017.

The project is eligible for $1,800,000 in federal funding next year and $2,300,000 in state aid will also be used toward the approximately $6,000,000 project cost.

Byrd says county commissioners will be discussing their approach over the next month.