WEST FARGO — With concrete paving and underground work reaching a fever pitch on Sheyenne Street and the new Interstate 94 interchange, winding through the roadway can be rather confusing.
Contractors on the 3.26-mile, two-year project, the largest in the metro this year, said in the "ever-changing work zone it's very important to remember to pay attention to signage and to keep your eyes on the road through the zone."
One of the most uncomfortable current sections is near and under the new I-94 interchange as traffic has been switched to the east side of Sheyenne Street, but then splits under the bridge to allow motorists to access ramps onto the interstate or to continue down the street.
Just a bit farther south toward the new bridges over the diversion channel is another congestion area as crews are working on paving.
In a few weeks, it should be a lot easier as the paving should be complete on the east side of the roadway for a much longer stretch and drivers won't have to wind through the current maze.
All ramps are still open to exit or enter Sheyenne Street from I-94.
Meanwhile, paving work and underground work is intensifying in many areas farther south.
The first deck pour on the diversion bridge that is being expanded will start at 9 a.m. Monday, July 29. The other new bridge just to the west has been completed.
Also in that area, some changes have been made in the access road to RJ's Tesoro convenience store, 2125 Sheyenne St., and the neighborhood near there. It's hoped that congestion point can also be improved in a few weeks when paving is done on the east side lanes.
Another main focus point is on the very south end of the project as crews work on completing the 37th Avenue West to 40th Avenue West segment to improve traffic flow and outlets for neighborhoods in that area. That section of the project could be completed by mid-August.
To the north of 37th Avenue to 32nd Avenue, underground and grading work is in full swing. About 1.2 miles of the road has been closed from 32nd Avenue to 40th Avenue this summer. Some neighborhoods by the Sheyenne River are using the newly completed 38th Avenue intersection for access.
Other project updates:
Main Avenue in Fargo: By the end of this week, all of the concrete roadway paving from near Second Street through the Broadway intersection will be completed on the Main Avenue project except for in the roundabout area.
Besides that major milestone, the roadway in front of the Gateway Cenex service station and Fryin' Pan restaurant will open about Tuesday, Aug. 6, for local access. All of the roadway and new sidewalks on both sides of the road will be ready to go. A signal light will also be operational at the time on Fourth Street and Main Avenue as some traffic will be coming from the east again. There is no signal light there now.
In addition, crews have been installing curb and gutter on the Broadway intersection and are nearing completion. The roadway will be much narrower in that intersection with improved pedestrian safety and walkability. The goal is to have that Broadway intersection open in August before work starts on the roundabout — the last phase of the project.
Roberts Street in downtown Fargo: Although the roadway has now been open for more than 10 days, crews still need to finish work on the sidewalks and replace a roadway panel. The road will remain open, but parking spots may be shut down for a few days.
Fifteen trees will also be planted in the coming days along the street, including eight hackberry trees and seven elms. When the project was started 16 trees were removed, but 11 of those were ash trees slated to be cut down anyway. Ash trees are in danger of death because of the emerald ash borer spreading across the country.
52nd Avenue in Fargo:
A few milestones are being reached this week as paving of the eastbound lanes from near the bridges over the drainage ditch through Veterans Boulevard will begin and crews will also be pouring the eastbound bridge deck beginning at 5 a.m. Tuesday, July 30.
By mid-August, from Veterans Boulevard to 45th Street South will be open with at least one driving lane open in each direction over the bridges. . There still could be some head-to-head traffic on the same side of the road for a time.
Also this past week, the intersection of 63rd Street reopened, providing another outlet for residents and businesses on both the north and south side of 52nd Avenue.
Cass County 17 and 76th Avenue in Horace: Crews will close 76th Avenue to the east for two days beginning at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 30, so underground workers can install storm sewer crossings. By Wednesday evening, July 31, the road to the east should reopen. Traffic will be rerouted to the west and through part of the new roundabout that is nearing completion.
During the next few weeks, crews will begin working on curbs and gutters, asphalt shoulders, median concrete and roadway tie-ins throughout the roundabout. A temporary detour, being maintained by the contractor, takes traffic around the work zone.
Railway crossings in Moorhead: The railway crossing repairs are completed in downtown Moorhead. The last crossing to be done, which was completed in conjunction with some underground utility work, was on Fourth Street next to the river.
Sealcoating in Fargo: Sealcoating of streets in Fargo to prolong the lives of roadways has been completed. Some sweeping of loose rocks will occur in future weeks.