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Reconstruction of Fargo's 32nd Avenue pushed to next year

Fargo officials had thought the project might start this summer, but the schedule became murky after bids for work on the project started coming in higher than city officials would have liked.

Cars and a motorcycle drive down an uneven stretch of road.
Traffic approaches a rough section of pavement June 13, 2022, on the 1800 block of 32nd Avenue South in Fargo.
Michael Vosburg / The Forum
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FARGO — A major reconstruction of a stretch of 32nd Avenue South in Fargo that had been anticipated to start this summer is now expected to get underway in the spring of 2023.

That's according to Jeremy Gorden, transportation division engineer with the city of Fargo.

City officials had thought the project might start this summer, but the schedule became murky after bids for work on the project started coming in higher than city officials would have liked.

The project entails rebuilding several blocks of 32nd Avenue in the area of Essentia Health and Sanford's Southpointe Clinic.

The city decided to rebid the project after a February bid opening had bids come in more than 40% above engineers' estimates, which caused them to be thrown out under state law, which prohibits projects from being awarded that are 40% over estimates or higher because of special assessments involved for residents and businesses.

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The lowest bid in that round was about $16.6 million.

The situation didn't improve in early June, when the city opened new bids.

One of those bids, which amounts to $19.9 million to complete the project next construction season, will be recommended by city staff for acceptance when the Fargo City Commission meets on July 11, according to Gorden, who said material costs have continued to increase since earlier this year, making the $16.6 million bid the city rejected earlier look good in retrospect.

He said given the challenges of finding materials, the project will not start this construction season as hoped.

Instead, construction is now anticipated to start in early April.

Although the rebuilding work on 32nd Avenue has been pushed back, the city of Fargo is working this summer to pave over potholes in rough stretches of the avenue in an attempt to head off pothole problems next spring, Gorden said.

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