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Construction on 9th & 13th delayed but will begin this month

An architect's rendering of what the intersection at Ninth Street and 13th Avenue South will look like after reconstruction in 2017. This view is looking southeast. Special to The Forum. 1 / 2
An architect's rendering of what the intersection at Ninth Street and 13th Avenue South will look like after reconstruction in 2017. This view is looking north. Special to The Forum2 / 2

After delays in the bidding process, construction on one of the city's busiest intersections at Ninth Street and 13th Avenue East will be done in two phases, making 2018 the completion date of the project.

Work on the nearly $7 million project that includes widening Ninth Street and adding lanes to the intersection was expected to begin earlier this year and wrap up by the end of the construction season. Public Works Director Chris Brungardt said there was a delay in the bidding process while the city was working with the North Dakota Department of Transportation, and the project was bid until July 13.

Work will begin on the project as soon as next week, said city spokeswoman Melissa Richard. However, due to the late bid process, the project will now be done in two phases. The first phase will focus on adding left-turn lanes in all corners of the intersection, as well as underground utility improvements in that area.

This means 13th Avenue East will be closed at times, but at least one north and southbound lane of Ninth Street East will remain open during the work, Richard said.

The first phase is expected to be finished by November. When the second phase begins in 2018, another northbound lane will be added on Ninth Street East. Phase two is expected to take less time than this summer's work.

West Fargo received $1.9 million in federal funding for the project, but the city will pay for the remaining $4 million to $5 million through a special assessment district.

Along with adding turn lanes to the intersection, the project will add a northbound-through lane on Ninth Street East from 13th Avenue East to Seventh Avenue East and offer a safer area around West Fargo High School.

About 20,000 vehicles per day flow through the intersection that is one of the city's most dangerous. There have been about 55 accidents there in the past three years, said Dustin Scott, senior engineer with Moore Engineering, the city's engineering firm.

Traffic will be rerouted to 17th Avenue and Seventh Avenue around 13th Avenue closures. To minimize impacts to businesses near the intersection, Brungardt said the city plans directional signs during construction.

The contractor is expected to start closing off 13th Avenue on both sides of Ninth Street East, leaving the north/southbound traffic open on Ninth Street East once work begins.

For project updates and detour maps for this project, please visit westfargostreets.com.

Wendy Reuer

Wendy reports for The Forum and West Fargo Pioneer, where she is also assistant editor. A University of Minnesota Morris graduate from North Dakota, Wendy started her career in television news and entertainment in Minnesota and and at CBS Television City, Calif. before working at newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota. 

(701) 241-5530
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