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Last of metro's big road construction projects expected to finish in 2 to 3 weeks

Constuction work continues at 13th Avenue and 9th Street East in West Fargo on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017.David Samson / The Forum1 / 2
Prep work for concrete is done at the intersection of 13th Avenue South and 25th Street in Fargo on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. David Samson / The Forum2 / 2

FARGO—All of this summer's major metro road projects are finished or within two to three weeks of completion, area transportation officials said late this week.

Perhaps the biggest construction zone project to have wrapped up this fall is the widening of a stretch of Fargo's 32nd Avenue South to six lanes and revamping and widening that arterial road's overpass of Interstate 29.

The project, a joint venture between the city of Fargo and the North Dakota Department of Transportation, also included improvements to several intersections, a new I-29 loop ramp and a pedestrian underpass. Utilities, traffic signals and streetlights were also updated in the area.

That project's work was wrapped up by Oct. 20, said Kevin Gorder, assistant district engineer for the North Dakota Department of Transportation's Fargo District.

Work was also completed in the last few weeks on part of Interstate 94 in West Fargo in preparation for the spring start of major construction at the Sheyenne Street interchange, Gorder said.

"Everything has wrapped up really nicely for us," Gorder said.

Buttoning up Fargo

Fargo still has several projects to finish before winter arrives, traffic engineer Jeremy Gorden said.

In the downtown area, Second Avenue North near Roberts Street and the post office will open this weekend, Gorden said. But work on Fourth Avenue North from Fourth Street to Broadway will take a couple more weeks to complete.

"We're looking better this year than most years," Gorden said. "This little cold snap, this little shot across the bow is a reminder we have to get things buttoned up."

The reconstruction of 19th Avenue North west from Interstate 29 is progressing. Work from I-29 to 45th Street North is complete, Gorden said. Installation of underground utilities from 45th Street to 57th Street North will continue until late November. Work will then be suspended for the winter and resume next spring to complete paving, Gorden said.

Reconstruction of the 25th Street and 13th Avenue South intersection is also nearly done, as crews recently started the last corner (the southwest quadrant), Gorden said.

Next year, Fargo will have two big DOT projects: A full reconstruction of 10th Street from 4th to 12th avenues north, and the full reconstruction of South University Drive from 18th Avenue South through the intersection with I-94, Gorden said.

Quiet year for Moorhead

This has been a relatively quiet year for Moorhead. The last two years included significant road reconstruction downtown and a rebuilt and redesigned I-94 and 8th Street South interchange, said Assistant City Engineer Tom Trowbridge.

This year's downtown road work was finished in June and July, with most of the rest of this year's projects consisted of milling and overlays on various streets, Trowbridge said.

Next spring, work begins on the railroad underpass for Main and 20th and 21st Streets just south of Moorhead Senior High School, Trowbridge said.

"That's a contract that we expect will be in the vicinity of $50 million. It's a rather large project. It will definitely be two years and some work may bleed over into a third year," he said.

West Fargo wrapping up

In West Fargo, the 9th Street East and 13th Avenue project "Is going real well," said Public Works Director Chris Baumgardt.

Workers are sawing and sealing joints on the roadways and putting in bike paths and sidewalks. Temporary traffic signals will be installed Monday or Tuesday.

"We're about two weeks from opening that whole thing up," Baumgardt said.

Work on the roundabout on 9th Street Northeast and 12th Avenue is down to pouring curbs, backfilling and striping, Baumgardt said.

That could be finished in about two weeks, too, he said.

"I don't know if we've got any more than two more weeks in construction season, looking at the weather, " Baumgardt said

City Engineer Dustin Scott said both projects were on-schedule.

"Everything is wrapping up in the nick of time," he said.

Bridge project continues

Painting appears to be complete on the I-94 Red River Bridge between Moorhead and Fargo, said Jeremiah Moerke, an area spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

In addition to rehabilitation of the bridge, the anti-icing system for the span is being upgraded, "so there will be some overnight (lane) closures next week on that," Moerke said.

Resurfacing of the pavement for Highway 10 in Glyndon, Minn., is completed, Moerke said. That project also involved adding medians, left turn lanes and replacing a signal light.

Work in Detroit Lakes is nearing completion, Moerke said. This summer, crews replaced the eastbound Highway 10 bridge over the Canadian Pacific Railway line, and resurfaced Highway 10 between Highway 59 and Summit Avenue.

Helmut Schmidt

Helmut Schmidt was born in Germany, but grew up in the Twin Cities area, graduating from Park High School of Cottage Grove. After serving a tour in the U.S. Army, he attended the University of St. Thomas in St Paul, Minn., graduating in 1984 with a degree in journalism. He then worked at the Albert Lea (Minn.) Tribune and served as managing editor there for three years. He joined The Forum in October 1989, working as a copy editor until 2000. Since then, he has worked as a reporter on several beats, including K-12 education, Fargo city government, criminal justice, and military affairs. He is currently one of The Forum's business reporters.

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