Interstate 29 raising project making major strides
Project that has involved shutting down an interstate exit to Hickson and Oxbow this summer should be done in about two months or the end of September as construction continues on schedule
Editor's note: This is the 12th in a series of articles updating construction projects, road detours and lane closures in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
OXBOW — The County Road 18 overpass bridge deck over Interstate 29 is poured and concrete paving is underway on the newly raised interstate just south of Fargo.
The project, which is part of the Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion, is on schedule.
Army Corps of Engineers Resident Engineer Mathew Andersen and Project Engineer Troy Tooz, who are overseeing the work by Industrial Builders of West Fargo, are pleased with the progress and said it's been a nice summer for work.
Detours and lane closures in the area stem from construction of the new overpass bridge, raising County Roads 18 and 81 as well as tie-in levees for the Oxbow and Hickson flood-control system.
Those closures should be over by the end of September, Andersen and Tooz said.
Depending on weather, the bridge, on and off ramps to I-29 and newly reconstructed County Roads 18 and 81 should be completed by then.
Next year's work, which will be third and final year of the $67 million building project won't involve any detours or lane closures thanks to a four-lane bypass constructed last year.
As work continues on the cement guardrails this week, crews have finished paving roughly 1.25 miles of southbound lanes on I-29, part of the 4-mile stretch of interstate that will be raised.
Tooz said they expect to pave another 1.5 miles this year, with plans to complete surfacing next year in order to have the new raised interstate open by fall 2023.
The new stretch of interstate roadway will be about 4 to 10 feet higher than before. The 10-foot mark will take the freeway over the diversion's southern embankment, where a drainage ditch will force the construction of bridges for both the north and southbound lanes of the interstate.
Andersen said some of the earthwork has been completed and work will be starting on those bridges this month.
The project will keep the roadways out of the floodplain and allow them to remain open during major flooding.
CENTER AVENUE: All underground utilities have been completed and two of the three concrete lanes have been poured between Fourth Street and Sixth Street in front of the Moorhead Center Mall, which is Phase One of the project
The final lane should be paved this week along with curb and gutter, according to Moorhead City Engineer Clay Lexen.
"We’re still several weeks from opening that section of roadway as there will be installing of all new sidewalk on both sides of the street in that area," Lexen said.
Phase Two of the project involves reconstructing the road between Sixth Street and Eighth Street on the east end of the six-block project with work starting later in August, he said.
34TH STREET SOUTH: Starting this Monday, July 25, north and southbound traffic will be reduced to one lane between 13th Avenue and 18th Avenue South to allow for street surface repairs. The road is expected to fully reopen by this Friday, July 29. Street parking will also be restricted.
FIRST AVENUE SOUTH: Westbound traffic will be closed between Fourth Street South and Broadway by Island Park and the YMCA so crews can place small cranes on the north side of the avenue in order to assemble a tower crane that is needed to complete the Bell Bank Tower project. The closure, starting this Monday, July 25, is expected to last three days.
STATE HIGHWAY 55: The Minnesota Department of Transportation has reopened the highway between Fairmount, North Dakota, and Highway 9 near Wendell, Minnesota, after resurfacing 22.5 miles of the roadway and replacing four box culverts.
During the next couple of weeks, however, motorists may see intermittent lane closures while crews complete final striping and install signage along the entire project from Wendell to the Minnesota/North Dakota state line.
HIGHWAY 11/18 IN LIDGERWOOD: A virtual public input meeting will be this Thursday, July 28, to receive comments on the highway project in the town.
The project consists of a new sidewalk and shared-use path and driveways within the existing right of way on the south side of the highway from Third Avenue Northwest to Wiley Avenue North.
A pre-recorded presentation and other materials will be available. It's not a live event. Go to dot.nd.gov and click on pubic meetings to view details.