Viewpoint: It's time to build a new bridge between Grand Forks and East Grand Forks
Grand Forks and East Grand Forks City Councils will meet in a joint meeting on July 11 to talk about infrastructure projects and a possible intercity bridge.
It is time to build!
It was 1965 when the last bridge over the Red River of the North was built, the Kennedy bridge. For decades Grand Forks has talked about and studied a fourth and fifth bridge, one in town to better connect the two cities and one south of town to serve trucks and farm to market traffic.
Now is our time to act.
The Chamber led groups to St Paul and Bismarck to visit with the respective Department of Transportation Secretaries and their staff. We found out there is a lot of money in the pipeline. With the passage of the largest federal infrastructure bill since the Interstates were built, there is plenty of money on its way from the Federal Government. There is even money available in special programs for to build safety measures in busy school zones. Couple that with a huge Minnesota budget surplus and growing North Dakota reserves and the timing is right to act.
What is missing at this point is the preconstruction work that goes into every project of this magnitude. Each community must have a local lead unit of government on each project and have the environmental and initial design work completed to be put in the queue for funding.
For a couple of years now the Chamber has been advocating for the coordination of major infrastructure projects.
Grand Forks and East Grand Forks City Councils will meet in a much anticipated joint meeting on July 11 to talk about infrastructure projects and a possible intercity bridge. Once again, the Chamber will be advocating to firm up an intercity bridge corridor and the Merrifield bridge corridor along with an interchange on I-29 near 47th , at Merrfield, and a 42nd street underpass at DeMers. This joint meeting will be a key step in firming up projects so the environment work can move forward.
Join the Chamber in urging local units of government to make some decisions and move these much-needed projects forward in the interest of public safety and community growth.
Tommy Kenville is owner of Isight Drone Services and is the current board chairman of the Chamber of Grand Forks-East Grand Forks. Dave Zavoral is vice president, RJ Zavoral and Sons is the immediate past chairman of the Chamber Board of Directors The two also serve as the Chamber’s infrastructure committee co-chairmen.