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West Fargo focuses on sanitary sewer collection system, bike pathway

City works to rehabilitate sanitary sewer system by repairing manholes as the city grows and as deterioration occurs. The city has been shipping its sewage to the Fargo plant for almost three years and is planning to continue its maintenance of the system in the coming years.

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Construction work continues on the new 10-foot wide bike and pedestrian path that runs from 13th Avenue East north to Main Avenue in West Fargo.
David Samson/The Forum
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Editor's note: This is the ninth in a series of articles about road and other infrastructure work in the metro area. It includes information about effects on traffic and updates how projects are moving along.

WEST FARGO — After finishing major projects involving updating Sheyenne Street through most of West Fargo, this year's infrastructure emphasis isn't on roads.

Instead, the city engineering department is leading the effort on rehabilitation of the city's sanitary sewer collection system and a new multi-use bike path in the older part of town.

Severe deterioration of manholes within the north side of the sewer system caused the city to undertake the $4.6 million project.

Crews are working on roughly 40 manholes this summer. 20 will be lined with an epoxy coating, while the other 20 are being reinforced with inserts.

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Assistant City Engineer Jerrold Wallace said the structures were deteriorating due to the gases and corrosive environment in the sanitary sewer system. He said most of the pipes connecting the system are in fine shape.

West Fargo began shipping its sanitary sewage to the Fargo water treatment plant at the end of 2019, as the city continues to decommission its former sewage lagoons it used for treatment. Three of the lagoons are done, with seven more to go.

Almost all of West Fargo's sewage is now being transported to the Fargo plant.

Wallace agrees that it's saving the city money by shipping its waste to the Fargo plant, rather than having to build its own treatment plant. It also gives Fargo another revenue source for its operations. West Fargo is paying Fargo an estimated $2.6 to $2.7 million for treatment costs this year.

The city emphasized the manhole work is being paid for by the city's capital improvement sales tax and sewer utility rates rather than special assessments, which is part West Fargo's effort to reduce the use of special assessments through strategic planning, financing and policy development.

Also on the agenda for the city this year is extending a north-south bike and pedestrian pathway from Seventh Avenue East to Main Avenue near the city's post office.

Wallace said it's one of the first such trails in the older part of town.

Last year, the first phase involved building the 10-foot pathway from 13th Avenue to Seventh Avenue partially through Service Club Park. The trail runs along the drainage ditch near Fourth Street East.

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The pathway connects to others in the city and is being paid for thanks to a $290,000 grant from the North Dakota Department of Transportation, with the rest of the $632,000 project coming from the city's capital improvement sales tax fund. There are no special assessments involved.

One more infrastructure project is slated for later this summer and involves citywide concrete patching of deteriorating panels, which extends the life of roadways.

The largest panel replacement will be on Ninth Street near West Fargo High School and will take about eight weeks and will affect traffic.

Because of extreme weather, First Avenue East will close this Monday, July 11, between Fifth Street East and Sixth Street East, for concrete repairs due to road buckling. Repairs are anticipated to be complete by Monday, July 25, pending weather conditions.

Road buckling commonly occurs when the air temperature shifts from moderate to extreme heat. The warmer the temperature, the more the pavement material expands and leads to buckles.

Moorhead

Minnesota Highway 336: Starting Monday, July 11, motorists will encounter daily lane closures on Highway 336 near Moorhead and Dilworth until mid-August.

The 2.25 mile north-south stretch of four-lane roadway connects Interstate 94 and U.S. Highway 10.

Crews will be completing repairs to the concrete pavement in both directions, which includes concrete patching and surface grinding for a smoother ride. The lane closures will remain up while crews are working on-site and to allow time for concrete to cure, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, which is in charge of the project.

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PCiRoads, based in St. Michael, Minn., is the prime contractor for the project.

Fargo

25th Street South: The four-lane roadway between 32nd Avenue South and Rose Creek Parkway has been reduced to two lanes as crews begin working on replacing sections of curb and gutter and replacing handicapped accessible ramps on some intersections.

The 14-block project, which started July 5, will also involve a milling off of old pavement and applying a new layer. That work will start this week with the project likely completed in the next 10 days.

32nd Avenue South: City street department workers have been plugging away at resurfacing rough spots on the busy avenue, focusing on the westbound lanes from University Drive all the way to near Interstate 29. That work on those lanes is almost complete, and crews will then begin working on the eastbound lanes. The avenue was slated for construction this year, but is now expected to be delayed until next spring.

45th Street South: Cass County began paving the street from 64th Avenue to 76th Avenue near Horace this past week. Fargo will then begin paving the rest of the street from 64th Avenue to 52nd Avenue later this summer, providing a new roadway connection to Horace and the developing area in southwest Fargo. The county is responsible for the street farther south, as it's not in Fargo city limits. Meanwhile, at the nearby 64th Avenue overpass, the bridge beams are in place and the nightime overnight road closures are over. Lane closures will continue, however, as the overpass bridge is constructed.

Interstate 94 in Fargo and West Fargo: Work has begun on installing high-tension cables and concrete barriers in the median on Interstate 94 from the Interstate 29 interchange to the Sheyenne Street interchange bridge this week.

The project includes the installation of high-tension cables on I-94 from 42nd Street to Sheyenne Street, and the installation of a concrete median barrier from I-29 to 42nd Street.

Installing these safety devices will help prevent motorists from crossing over the median and colliding with oncoming traffic.

Beginning July 20, the high-tension cable installation will force temporary left-lane closures and an adjacent shoulder closure that will be in place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The lane closures will be limited to 1.5 miles.

Flaggers will be present to assist in directing traffic through the work zone.

The project is expected to be completed in mid-September.

Minnesota

Minnesota Highway 108: Work will begin this Monday, July 11, on resurfacing of the highway between Interstate 94 and Ninth Street in Pelican Rapids.

The roadway will be closed to traffic, with a detour planned using Highways 39 and 59, as well as I-94.

The highway will close for two weeks because crews will replace culverts ahead of repaving.

Once the culvert work is done, the detour will be removed and the highway will reopen. Motorists can expect alternating lane closures with flaggers and pilot cars until the project is completed in mid-August. Central Specialties of Alexandria, Minn., is the prime contractor for the project.

North Dakota

Interstate 29: Concrete pavement repair has begun on the interstate near Oslo in far northeast North Dakota.

The project involves rehabilitating panels of the highway in the southbound lanes to extend the roadway's life.

Work will proceed south from Oslo and is expected to be completed in early October.

Lane closures will be involved with speed limits of 40 mph when workers are present. A speed limit of 65 mph will be enforced in the work zone.

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