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Columbia Road overpass repair costs rise

Work on the Columbia Road overpass will cost slightly more than original estimates, according to a report to the Grand Forks City Council’s Service and Safety Committee.

“We encountered a lot more patching than we anticipated,” Walker said.

Additional repairs to the concrete pavement overlay needed to be made and an additional lift system was needed to support the bridge for crews to repair a support beam, Walker said.

The final negotiated change is estimated to be less than $77,800, Walker said.

The committee approved the budget change.

Walker also presented future construction plans for a major roadway downtown.

“We are asking whether we should consider rehabilitating or reconstructing DeMers Avenue,” Walker said to the committee.

The proposed construction on DeMers Avenue from Fifth Street to the Sorlie Bridge comes in light of the upcoming rehabilitation or replacement of the bridge, set to begin in 2017.

Walker said coordinating construction on the street with the bridge project would be a good option for the city to consider. Walker added the North Dakota Department of Transportation District requested $4 million in federal funding for the DeMers project, but the request has neither been accepted nor denied.

Agreeing with Walker, Vein said Walker should look more into the specifics of the project and report back to the council next month.

“The closure for the bridge construction and then again for street construction wouldn’t make sense,” he said.

New members, officers on council

The Grand Forks City Council swore in and seated its newly elected members Tuesday, and said goodbye to two council members thanking them for their “dedication and commitment to the city.”

Municipal Judge Al Boucher swore in Crystal Schneider and Jeannie Schultz Mock, taking over the Ward 2 and 4 seats previously held by Tyrone Grandstrand and Hal Gershman.

Dana Sande, Ward 6, was sworn onto the council again after winning his race.

Upon coming together for their first meeting as a governing body, members voted to appoint Sande as council president and Doug Christensen as council vice president.

Ward 3’s Bret Weber was appointed as chairman of the Finance and Development Committee and the council voted to name Ken Vein as chairman of the Service and Safety Committee.


Call Opstedahl at (701) 780-1137; (800) 477-6572, ext. 1137; or send email to