N.D. Street Program helps towns
MINOT - North Dakota Highway 23 through Watford City, N.D., is known for its ruts, cracks and drainage problems. "The street is definitely in need of repair," said Lowell Cutshaw, the city engineer in Watford City. "It's a very rough ride." Watfo...
MINOT - North Dakota Highway 23 through Watford City, N.D., is known for its ruts, cracks and drainage problems.
"The street is definitely in need of repair," said Lowell Cutshaw, the city engineer in Watford City. "It's a very rough ride."
Watford City plans to make the repairs next summer as one of several cities participating in the North Dakota Street Program.
The North Dakota Department of Transportation began receiving federal funding in 2005 to develop a program to improve state highways in towns with populations of fewer than 5,000. The state expects to receive about $3 million annually.
After three years of surveying communities and program planning, the department has selected towns to participate during the next three years. Work will start in Ashley, Center, Hillsboro and Watford City, N.D., next year.
Projects set for 2009 will be in Carrington, Gackle, Velva and Fairmount, N.D. In 2010, projects are planned in Stanley, Lidgerwood, Cooperstown and Mohall, N.D.
Watford City's project will reconstruct Highway 23, update the sewer system and water lines, install new sidewalk, plant trees and add lighting. The transportation department expects to bid the project in November.
The city will pay for the sewer and water, expected to cost around $1 million. The remainder of the project is eligible for federal funding of 80 percent, with the state and city each kicking in 10 percent.
The federal funding is capped based on 80 percent of the initial estimate of $2.5 million. Costs likely will be higher, and the city will be picking up the additional expense.
"If cities had to fund all these projects, it just wouldn't happen," Cutshaw said.
Velva Mayor Cindy Shattuck said her city also feels fortunate that federal and state funds are available because just paying the local share of improvements on N.D. Highway 41 will be a stretch.
Like Watford City, Velva will have the full cost of water and sewer improvements. The costs will come on top of the bill that Velva residents already are paying through special assessments for a new water treatment plant. Velva also faces additional costs with a proposed new water transmission line.
- Associated Press