Moorhead to Sabin road work going strong, detours in place

Work should be completed by early July

Construction crews work on paving County Road 52 on the far southeast side of Moorhead on Friday, June 10, 2022. The busy roadway runs diagonally to Sabin and is one of the busier side roads in Clay County.
David Samson/The Forum

Editor's note: This is the seventh in a series of articles about road construction projects in the area. This report also looks at traffic concerns and detours.

MOORHEAD — A $3.5 million project to revitalize one of the busier Clay County highways is going full steam ahead.

Interim Clay County Engineer Justin Sorum said the crews were finishing the first of three phases last Friday on the mill and overlay project that will eventually cover about six miles on County Road 52 between Moorhead and Sabin.

That first phase was on the far southeast outskirts of Moorhead from Interstate 94 to 30th Avenue South and involved shutting down the interstate off ramp.

The interstate ramp is now open, but another detour is in place as work will continue this week on phase two with work on three miles of the asphalt roadway from 30th Avenue South to 60th Avenue South.


Traffic on the roadway for both north and south traffic will now be detoured until about June 22 to County Road 11 or 70th Street South. Detour signs are in place.

The third phase will start, weather permitting, on June 23, and complete the final 2.5 miles into Sabin. Sorum said a different detour will then be in place.

He's hoping the project will be done by the July Fourth weekend.

The project is a little more involved than a normal mill and overlay project.

Sorum said because the road surface was in dire need of repairs, they are shaving off 4.5 inches of asphalt instead of the usual 2 inches.

Thus, three layers of new asphalt will be put on the roadway instead of the usual two.

"We've spent a lot of time and money over the years on patching the road," Sorum said.

The traffic count on the highway has been ranging from about 7,200 cars a day in the Moorhead stretch to 5,500 per day from 30th to 60th avenues south and 4,500 cars on the final segment of the county highway into Sabin.


RJ Zavoral & Sons of East Grand Forks, Minnesota, has the contract on the project.

In another Moorhead traffic update:

Third Street: The roadway next to the Red River in downtown Moorhead has reopened to traffic. The street between Second Avenue South and Fourth Street North was closed because of high river levels for the past several weeks. The road will remain open until river levels raise again, city official said.


18th Avenue South: Beginning Monday, June 13, the avenue will be closed to through traffic between University Drive South and 11th Street South to allow for work on upgrading the pedestrian crosswalk and a repair to concrete pavement. The closure is expected to be in place for 14 days.

University Drive North: University Drive North will be closed between 15th Avenue North and 16th Avenue North for one week to allow for private underground utility repairs. Traffic will be detoured on 17th Avenue North., The work is expected to be completed at the end of the week.


Construction has begun on Valley's City's Main Street.

The project from Third Street Southwest to the eastern city limits will consist of adding a chip sealcoat to the top of existing pavement and installing grooved pavement markings. Flaggers and a pilot car will be present at times.

The project is expected to be completed the first week in July.



The delayed bridge replacement on Minnesota Highway 200 between Mahnomen and Roy Lake will begin this week.

Local traffic and others with a destination in the work zone, which includes the remainder of the roadway, are asked to take the detour to U.S. Highway 69, Highway 113 and County Road 39, or find an alternate route around the bridge area.

The road will be impassable in the bridge area through August.

The highway project also includes shoulder widening, pavement repairs, culvert replacements, turn lanes and other safety and pedestrian improvements.

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