Clay County planning to undertake four major road projects

The Moorhead-to-Sabin highway is to be refurbished; the county also plans to replace five timber bridges.

This shows some of the deterioration on County Road 52 between Moorhead and Sabin. The roadway will be rehabilitated for about six miles with a mill and overlay project with a new layer of asphalt.
Barry Amundson / The Forum

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the fourth article in seasonlong series on road and other infrastructure projects in the metro area as projects proceed. Reports about traffic alerts and detours will also be part of the series.

MOORHEAD — Clay County is planning to replace five timber bridges and undertake four road rehabilitation projects this summer.

A few of the projects remain to be bid, but Interim County Engineer Justin Sorum said they should know by the end of May about the final contracts.

One of the projects is a mill and overlay of six miles of County Highway 52 from Interstate 94 in Moorhead to Sabin. About two inches of the old asphalt will be removed with a new coating of asphalt.

Sorum described the highway as in dire need of rehabilitation. The project will be bid on May 24 when a better idea on a start date will be determined.


Also planned is reconstruction of County Road 2 in Comstock in the southwestern corner of the county. The work will involve regrading, a new storm sewer and curb and gutter work within the town.

He expects the work to be done in late summer as bids haven't been awarded on that project.

Another road project is a two-year, $1.3 million effort on County Road 1 just north of Moorhead's Oakport area near the state line.

Sorum said two miles of the highway will be reconstructed and widened from 24 feet to 32 feet. This first year the roadway will remain gravel after pavement is removed and it's regraded.

Then, as on many rural projects because of the soil conditions, the roadway will sit over winter and be paved next year. This allows for a more stable, durable road surface.

One of the timber bridge replacements will also be completed on the highway with a new box culvert.

The fourth project will involve a mill and overlay on 9.5 miles of County Road 31 east of Barnesville in the southeast corner of the county. Sorum said the paved road is in pretty bad shape.

The other timber bridge replacements will be on gravel roads:


  • On 43rd Avenue North in Cromwell Township in the north central part of the county.
  • On two gravel roads east of Sabin and near Interstate 94 in the southern part of the county.
  • On a gravel road just northeast of Baker in the southern part of the county.

Here are updates on other road projects around the area:


State highways: On Sunday, the Minnesota Department of Transportation started a two-week nighttime project to patch, seal cracks, flush bridges and redo striping on highways in the Moorhead area.

The bridge flushing involves removing sand and other particles that collect on the bridge joints and abutments. Crews will also look for deterioration that may have occurred during the winter and also make repairs to the road surface.

Work will be done Sunday through Thursday nights between 8 p.m. and 6:30 a.m.

Work locations will vary each night and motorists can expect to encounter mobile maintenance operations with alternating lane closures.

Motorists are asked to use care in the work zones and the fine for a violation is $300.

Informational meeting: In a meeting concerning Moorhead, Dilworth and Clay County, the public can learn about and comment on the planned storm water pollution prevention program for Moorhead and Dilworth.

The meeting will be this Wednesday, May 18, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the MnDOT/Clay County Joint Public Works facility at 2951 41½ Street South in Moorhead.


The program is designed to reduce the amount of sediment and other pollutants entering state waters from storm water systems and to adopt best practices.

24th Avenue South: The avenue will be closed between 11th Street and 14th Street for private utility work. A detour will reroute traffic to 25th Avenue South. The work is set to be finished on May 27.


Fifth Avenue South: Work should wrap up this week on an emergency private sewer service repair project between 15th Street and 16th Street. The project started last Monday.

43rd Street North: Work should end this week on the street. The road was closed between 14th Avenue and 15th Avenue North for private underground utility work.

45th Street: Concrete pavement replacement work is underway on the busy street with lane closures between 23rd Avenue South and 30th Avenue South. This is the first part of a two-phase replacement of damaged concrete panels on the street.

University Drive South: Starting this Monday, traffic will be reduced to two lanes between Third and Fourth Avenues South for underground utility work to be completed on the west side of University.

Broadway: Beginning this Monday, Broadway North will be closed between First Avenue and Second Avenue for three days to allow repair work on the overhead skyway.

13th Avenue South: Starting this Monday, traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction between Fiechtner Drive and 40th Street South for continued work on the concrete pavement rehabilitation project. This phase of the project will be in place for three weeks. Local business access will be maintained throughout the lane closure.

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