HORACE — The main north-south roadway into Horace is reopening this coming Friday, Aug. 16, or Saturday, Aug. 17.
The roundabout that has been under construction since about June 1, on Cass County Road 17 will open one of those two days, according to Assistant County Engineer Kyle Litchy, providing a free flow of traffic again and eliminating the need for the temporary detour route on township roads.
Litchy said the approximate $5 million project was mostly undertaken because of the new planned schools in the area, including the Heritage Middle School opening in the fall of 2020 and the future West Fargo Horace High School. Also, land has been purchased in the area for another elementary school.
North-south traffic wasn't projected to necessarily increase much, he said, but because of the new schools, the projections by KLJ Engineering for east-west traffic to the new schools "skyrocketed" at the intersection along 76th Avenue South, which previously had stop signs to stop traffic. A study in 2018 found the roundabout alternative was best to accommodate safety and movement of traffic with the new schools.
In addition to the roundabout, a new concrete roadway to the east on 76th Avenue, to the street that will be the entrance to the new schools, has also been completed. The cost for the roadway to the school entrance, with extra turning lanes, was about $2.5 million or half of the cost of the overall project.
Although 76th Avenue turns into gravel farther to the west and east, there are plans to pave the roads in the coming years.
Next year, Litchy said they will be paving about a half mile of the avenue to the west as housing developments are springing up in the area. As far as the avenue farther to the east that connects to a frontage road along Interstate 29, Lichty said it is slated for paving in perhaps two to three years.
With increasing traffic in the area, Lichty said there will also be new speed limits posted. The speed limit will drop from 55 mph to 45 mph from the 52nd Avenue roundabout in West Fargo on Sheyenne Street through the new roundabout.
To the south of the new roundabout, speed limits will also be lowered, all the way into the old part of Horace where it drops to 25 mph. South of Horace, the county road will be the only stretch that will be 55 mph.
In other projects:
52nd Avenue South in Fargo: There's big news on this project as driving lanes on 52nd Avenue South will open between 45th Street and Veterans Boulevard by the end of this week. There will be head-to-head traffic on the westbound lanes. There will also be head-to-head traffic starting this week on 52nd Avenue west of 63rd Street to Sheyenne Street on the eastbound lanes. This provides another access to the new Deer Creek Elementary School in that neighborhood that is opening soon.
Also this week, 52nd Avenue will close west of Veterans Boulevard to east of 63rd Street for roadway removals and underground work in one of the final phases of the project.
Main Avenue in Fargo: Workers continue to steam ahead with new sidewalks, driveways and curbs along Main Avenue between Fourth Street and Broadway.
Because of the sidewalk work, pedestrians are being taken on a maze in that area, with some walkways down the middle of the street. Pedestrian routes and barricades will be realigned as necessary, as crews work on different areas of the sidewalk.
In addition to that work, crews are scheduled to begin in earnest on the new roundabout by the Veterans Memorial Bridge starting later this week or early next week.
Although crews have been working on underground work already, the new push on the roundabout will mean the bridge will be closed, possibly later this week or early next week, and will stay closed until about Oct. 15, when the roundabout project is slated to be completed. With financial incentives, however, the project could be completed sooner.
Sheyenne Street in West Fargo: Crews are continuing work on the newly expanded bridge over the Sheyenne River diversion channel with concrete pours on the side barriers and the approach slabs.
To the south, crews have completed underground work between 32nd Avenue and 37th Avenue. Grading will begin on that stretch this week. A new shared pathway is being installed from 40th Avenue to the north.
In the neighborhoods east of Sheyenne Street next to the river, local access routes have changed again.
Interchange on Interstate 94, Sheyenne Street: Crews have poured turn lanes and hand poured tie-ins to the ramp on the northwest side of the interchange.
Dirt work will continue this week to finish shaping the interchange slopes on the new interchange ramp design. Bridge crews are forming and pouring approach slabs to the new I-94 eastbound bridge.
Second Avenue North in downtown Fargo: Beginning Monday, Aug. 12, Second Avenue North will close to through traffic between Broadway and Roberts Street for 21 days in the first phase of the Roberts Alley reconstruction project between First Avenue North and Second Avenue North behind the Black Building. Pedestrian traffic will be maintained on both sides of the avenue.
Interstate 29 in Fargo: Work is continuing on installing cable safety barriers in the median throughout Interstate 29's route in Fargo. Work is starting in far south Fargo near 52nd Avenue and will continue north to near the airport on 19th Avenue North. Because of the work, one lane is being closed off at times as crews install solid cement foundations for the cable and construct the guardrails. The work will continue into October.
25th Street South in Fargo: Southbound 25th Street between 35th and 36th avenues south will be down to one lane for up to four days for private utility work this week.
Ninth Street East in West Fargo: Beginning Tuesday, Aug. 13, at 6 a.m., crews will reduce lanes on Ninth Street E.ast, north of Seventh Avenue East to repair heaved concrete in the area. The repair process is estimated to take two weeks. During this time, Ninth Street East traffic will shift multiple times allowing traffic in the area to flow throughout the repair. Barring any complications or inclement weather, crews intend to open all lanes over the weekend and to resume work Tuesday, Aug. 20.
Motorists in this area may experience delays and congestion during the morning and evening commutes and should adjust their travel plans accordingly.