WEST FARGO — Residents will be able to give the city their thoughts once more on the proposed $10.5 million reconstruction project that will soon get underway.
The city has been planning the project for more than two years. It began as a Sheyenne Street "road diet," which would narrow the roadway and add more walkability and aesthetic appeal to the city's "downtown" area, or on Sheyenne Street from Main to 13th Avenue. But the project was expanded after the city discovered one of West Fargo's oldest streets was also in need of major infrastructure renovations.
The city will host a public meeting 4 to 5 p.m. Monday, March 15, to provide updates and information on the north Sheyenne Street urban reconstruction project that is expected to begin around March 22.
The meeting will include a presentation to provide information about the project schedule, construction road closures and detours, and an opportunity for residents to ask questions.
Construction on this project will occur in three phases and is expected to last through early November. The first phase will impact Sheyenne Street from north of Seventh Avenue to Fourth Avenue.
The most recent estimated project cost of $10.45 million was approved Dec. 7, 2020, when the City Commission awarded bids for construction. Earlier engineer estimates had projected around a $7.5 million project cost, but bids came in much higher.
To pay for the project, the city will be using state grant money and state aid as well as city economic sales tax funds and water and sewer utility fee revenues. About 27 percent, or $1.8 million, will be paid for by special assessments. The city planned to use about $1.4 million in sales tax money and $1 million of water revenue and sewer bond funds.
Finance Director Jim Larson said about $1.25 million in sales tax could be used, and the city would be able to use state-granted Prairie Dog funds to help with the project.
The city is also currently in talks with five homeowners along Sheyenne Street to buy their homes for about $1.15 million to raze the buildings and use the area as a temporary parking lot until the land would be sold for future development.
Monday's meeting will include a virtual option to attend and a recording will be made available after the event. This information is available on the calendar at www.westfargond.gov.
On April 17, the city will host a community event, Color Fest, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in The Yards on Sheyenne. Community members and local artists will be welcome to paint Sheyenne Street intersections from Second Avenue West to Fourth Avenue West before they are torn up for the construction.
Economic Development Director Lauren Orchard said she hopes a similar event may be held annually. The city is currently taking applications for Color Fest artists to help at the event.