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Despite rain, shipping delays GF street projects on track

Major road construction projects around Grand Forks are expected to meet completion deadlines, experiencing few setbacks due to high amounts of rainfall and equipment shipment delays, according to city and state officials.


Major road construction projects around Grand Forks are expected to meet completion deadlines, experiencing few setbacks due to high amounts of rainfall and equipment shipment delays, according to city and state officials.

The largest project crews have been working on is a section of roadway on Washington Street from 32nd Avenue South to 13th Avenue South, with construction totaling more than $3.6 million, according to Mike Yavarow, a principal engineer for the city of Grand Forks who is overseeing the project.

“The project has been going real good,” he said. “We’re getting into a bind with not getting the traffic signals (delivered).”

The traffic signal shipments, which include the horizontal mast and the light signal boxes, have been delayed for days for unspecified reasons, Yavarow said. There are a number of construction projects around town being delayed because traffic signals have not arrived, he said.

“They are the most simple things (to install), but they are hard to come by for some reason,” Yavarow said. “It’s a recent problem and no one knows what’s going on.”


The traffic signals for the Washington Street project are expected to arrive July 28.

Aside from waiting for the signals to arrive, Yavarow said pavement repairs are finished and contractors are now working on sidewalks and curbs, as well as realigning left-turn lanes and building right-turn lanes into the road. Crews have also been working at night on pavement grinding.

“They are doing a lot of work during the nighttime hours to reduce traffic congestion,” said Jamie Olson, a spokeswoman for the North Dakota Department of Transportation.

The project is mostly paid for by the state with the city of Grand Forks footing 10 percent of the costs.

The roadway is expected to open by early September.

Gateway Drive

One of the newest road construction projects to hit Grand Forks is a project on Gateway Drive from 55th Street to the Interstate 29 access ramps.

Beginning Monday, crews started making concrete repairs to the on and off ramps at the I-29 access points, before moving to the stretch of roadway on Gateway Drive.


“The project is about the same type as the Washington Street project, only it’s mainly repairing the concrete,” Yavarow said.

Once work begins on Gateway Drive, one north and one southbound lane will be closed to traffic, Olson said. The project is expected to be finished by early September.

Columbia overpass

All lanes on the Columbia Road overpass are on track to open next week, provided it passes its inspection sometime next week, Yavarow said.

Work on the bridge originally included making repairs to the concrete pavement overlay, but additional patching was needed along with repairs to a structural beam.

The additional work meant a rise in overall costs for the repairs, bringing the total to about $200,000, Yavarow said.

“It’s a very common problem with bridges,” he said. “You don’t really know what’s wrong until you open it up.

More turn lanes


Work on additional turn lanes and installing traffic signals is also on schedule at the intersections of 40th Avenue South and South Washington Street and 42nd Avenue South and South 11th Street, Yavarow said.

Both projects are classified as federal urban projects and together cost about $1.4 million.

The traffic signals are expected to arrive within the next two weeks and the sites should be open to traffic by the middle of next month.


The city is installing some of its first roundabouts on the south end of the city. The first roundabout, going in at the intersection of 24th Avenue South and South 34th Street, is right on track with concrete pouring going on now, said Matt Yavarow, another principal engineer for the city.

“The progress is going ok,” he said. “The storm sewers are in.”

Expected to be finished Aug. 15, the project is projected to cost the city about $540,000.

Construction for a second roundabout at the planned intersection of 40th Avenue South and South 34th Street is expected to begin shortly, Matt Yavarow said.


“They eliminate the need for a traffic signal and free up traffic,” he said. He added the only other roundabout in the city is near Grand Forks International Airport.

Because the roundabout is in a new development and there is no road yet, the project is projected to cost about $2.4 million and will be open to traffic Aug. 31.

Like the rest of the projects, road construction on 47th Avenue South from South Washington Street to South Middle School is slightly behind schedule, Matt said, because of an increase in moisture during the season. However, the $1.1 million project is expected to meet its Aug. 27 deadline, he said.

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

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