DRAYTON, N.D. -- Two new public construction projects will slow some traffic but likely spur economic activity here this summer. Construction crews already have been working since last February on a $27 million project to replace the Drayton Brid...
DRAYTON, N.D. -- Two new public construction projects will slow some traffic but likely spur economic activity here this summer.
Construction crews already have been working since last February on a $27 million project to replace the Drayton Bridge, along N.D. Highway 66, over the Red River.
The city learned Thursday it's been approved for $250,000 in federal funding for a $2.4 million project to replace its wastewater treatment lagoon system, which has been compromised by persistent Red River flooding.
The major project funding -- $1.75 million -- is expected to come from federal economic recovery stimulus funds through the North Dakota Department of Health, said Carol Gardner, city auditor.
"We're building a new lagoon system," she said. "The existing system is perched right on the riverbank and is showing signs of failure and cracking."
Paperwork is being finalized to get that project going by the end of this month, with construction planned throughout the summer, Gardner said.
The Drayton water treatment facility has been compromised by persistent Red River flooding. The federal funding for Drayton was one of two projects announced Thursday by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., who chairs the Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee. The other project is $300,000 to repair a leaking wastewater lagoon in Beulah in western North Dakota.
"Fixing these compromised wastewater treatment facilities is critical to the health of Beulah and Drayton communities, and I'm pleased that the lagoon projects will get a jump-start from funding," Dorgan said.
The $400,000 local share will be paid for either through special assessments, or a small charge on local utility bills, Gardner said.
"This certainly reduces the burden for a small town," she said.
Road construction crews also began work this week on a Main Street and lighting improvement project. It's part of a larger state project along N.D. Highway 44, which runs through Drayton, a Pembina County town of 900 located about 50 miles north of Grand Forks.
Main Street parking has been temporarily eliminated, as construction crews have closed half of the street. Two-way traffic is allowed along the west side of the street.
It's not a reconstruction project. Crews will replace damaged or worn concrete panels.
The project also includes replacing sidewalks, where necessary, and making all sidewalks along Main Street handicapped accessible.
New street lights also will be installed on both sides of Main Street between Drayton Lutheran Church and St. Edward's Catholic Church. The city will pay 50 percent of the street lighting project, which will cost an estimated $310,000.
Bridge work continues
Meanwhile, the Drayton bridge construction continues. The new bridge, which connects N.D. Highway 66 over the Red River to Minnesota Highway 11, is expected to be completed this fall.
The present steel truss bridge has been closed frequently during spring flooding and other periods of high water. The problem has not been that the bridge floods. Rather, water swamps the low-lying N.D. Highway 66 as it approaches the bridge.
When completed, the 4,090-foot bridge will be the second-longest bridge in North Dakota, about 400 feet shorter than the Four Bears Bridge over the Missouri River on state Highway 23 near New Town on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation.
The Federal Highway Administration is paying 80 percent of the bridge project; the remaining 20 percent is being split by the Minnesota and North Dakota transportation departments.
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