FARGO — As another rainy week came to a close Friday, Fargo's Assistant City Engineer Tom Knakmuhs said he expects construction crews to be working on weekends in the coming month as they try to catch up on road construction projects after recent rains have slowed progress.
Concrete and asphalt can't be poured when it's raining, as it would change the water to concrete ratio in the roadway, he noted. However, crews still find ways to work if it's an overnight rain or a drizzle.
Sometimes crews will remove a layer of mud after an overnight rain and then continue working. In a drizzle, putting down the gravel base or sand on a roadway can be a good thing, as water is needed to complete the base anyway. Still, the past few weeks have set back some projects.
Here's a look at the status of some of those projects:
Main Avenue in Fargo: The final phase of the Main Avenue project is going "really well," Knakmuhs said. The roadway could be open by Oct. 11, or possibly sooner as the contractor is eligible for incentive pay.
Crews late last week were working on the colored, mountable curbs on the roundabout that allow semi trailers take the curve easier.
The paving of the driving lanes in the roundabout area is complete.
Meanwhile, about two weeks of work remain on the north side sidewalks in the area. The south side sidewalks are open from the Veterans Memorial Bridge across the roundabout area.
Although Main Avenue might open in a few short weeks, the connection with Second Street may not be done until later, as it's on a separate contract. The flood walls in the same area should be complete about the same time as Main Avenue, except for that paving of 2nd Street, Knakmuhs said.
52nd Avenue in Fargo: Starting Monday, Sept. 16, there will be work on the intersection of 52nd Avenue and 45th Street to construct a turning lane. The new lane will match up adjacent lanes for traffic moving farther west on the new stretch of 52nd Avenue. That work could take up to three weeks.
Meanwhile, rain delayed some paving on the west end of the project, between Veterans Boulevard and 63rd Street. Paving of the main driving lanes is likely to be finished Wednesday.
Work is continuing on curbs and gutters, colored concrete in the medians, sidewalks and landscaping.
Grooving is planned this week on the eastbound new bridge over the drainage ditch. In that process, texture is being added to the bridge deck to prevent sliding and hydroplaning during inclement weather.
42nd Street in Fargo: This past weekend, northbound traffic on 42nd Street South between 30th and 32nd avenues was closed, with traffic being detoured to 45th Street. Southbound traffic will still be allowed. The detour will be in place about two weeks.
The Interstate 94 overpass bridge remains open, as well as the streets between 19th and 30th avenues.
Repairs are being made to concrete panels along the street that were deteriorated. Work on the entire project from 19th Avenue to 32nd Avenue is slated to be done by mid-October.
A signal light will eventually be installed on the intersection with 23rd Avenue, near the Red River Zoo.
Fourth Street South in Moorhead: The northbound lane between Main Avenue and Second Avenue South will be closed starting Tuesday, Sept. 17, for about a week for installation of private utility services.
First Avenue North in Moorhead: Lane closures will start this Monday, Sept. 16, on First Avenue North between 11th Street and 14th Street and continue for about a week to allow installation of private utility services.
Railroad underpass: Another Moorhead project, the railroad underpass will not open this year as hoped, it was announced last week. Recent rains slowed the project so much, it's now not expected to open until next summer.
Sheyenne Street in West Fargo: All driving lanes between the interstate and the diversion bridge are likely to be completed this week. There were parts of the street that weren't poured to allow traffic flow. Some of the work is hand pouring of concrete by the new diversion bridge.
The median is being poured underneath the interstate bridge, and pavement markings are being placed on some of the new ramps on and off the interstate.
Farther south on the street, paving on driving lanes, delayed because of weather, are planned this week between 34th and 37th avenues. Prep work is being done this week on the final stretch of driving lanes along the project between 32nd and 37th avenues.
Final detail work is being done on the stretch between 38th and 40th avenues. Crews are putting in street lights, seeding and striping the roadway for an opening of that stretch soon.