Two road major road construction projects in Devils Lake are nearing completion.
Most of the $7.3 million downtown construction project is finished, and the $9.7 million project on a 2-mile section of U.S. Highway 2 that runs through the city is expected to be completed in early November, barring weather delays, engineers said.
The downtown construction project began in mid-May with work on the fringes of downtown. That work included curb, gutter and sidewalk replacement and construction of ramps to meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards. As the work continued, the project moved to the center of downtown where decorative concrete sidewalks and benches for seating were installed.
The benches don’t have backs, so people who use them can either sit facing, or away, from traffic. Meanwhile, trees have been planted downtown and brick monuments, which have graphic inlay panels, are on intersection corners. The graphic inlay panels will have different themes depicting the history of Devils Lake and the surrounding area.
“The vast majority of the project is done,” said Michael Grafsgaard, Devils Lake city engineer.
There are a few things that still need to be completed this fall, including new traffic signals and street lights. Meanwhile, seal coat work will be completed next year, Grafsgaard said.
Visitors to downtown Devils Lake have appreciated the improvements, he said.
“We’ve had many, many positive comments,” he said.
Next spring or early summer a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the renovated downtown area is planned.
“A tremendous amount of work went into that project, and we’re proud of it and want to make sure to invite people who were directly involved and celebrate,” Grafsgaard said.
Several blocks north of downtown, concrete pavement work on the westbound lane of U.S. Highway 2 is a few weeks away from being completed, said Chris Beggs, North Dakota. Department of Transportation Devils Lake assistant district engineer.
Completion of the project was delayed for three days when an October storm dropped 28 inches on Devils Lake.
“It was brutal here,” Beggs said.
Strata, the construction company doing the project, moved the snow from areas where it needed to work and was able to resume construction the week of Oct. 14.
Besides concrete pavement repair on eastbound and westbound lanes, the project includes reconstruction at the intersection of North Dakota Highway 19 and U.S. Highway 2. That part of the project involves removing the existing pavement and replacing it with new pavement and installing new traffic signals and sidewalks, Beggs said.
"It will be the same configuration; it's just reconstruction of the roadway," he said.