Extra state dollars to advance flood projects

SRJB adds work to flood protection construction schedule

Jill Schramm/MDN The Colton Avenue Bridge in Burlington, shown Tuesday, will be replaced as part of the regional flood protection project.

A bridge replacement in Burlington and levee design for Tierrecita Vallejo are among projects moving onto the project schedule with the freeing up of dollars for Souris River flood protection.

Ryan Ackerman, administrator for the Souris River Joint Board, told Ward County commissioners Tuesday the board has decided to advance certain projects with money available from cost savings so far.

Design work on protection for Tierrecita Vallejo, a subdivision on the west side of the U.S. Highway 83 Bypass, will begin this summer and finish at the end of 2019, Ackerman said.

Design work also is to proceed in Sawyer, where a bridge twice as long as the current structure will be built to improve river conveyance.

The replacement of the Colton Avenue Bridge in Burlington potentially could happen this year. It depends on how much work can be accomplished in the time frame left in the year.

“We don’t want that bridge to be under construction over winter. We want access to be established before freeze up,” Ackerman said.

If that scenario is not likely to happen, bidding and construction would be postponed to 2019. The new bridge will be wider and higher to improve river conveyance. No downstream impacts would be created.

County engineer Dana Larsen said the replacement would raise the bridge so closure would not need to occur until flood stage neared 27,000 cubic feet per second, as opposed to the current 5,000 cfs. He added there will be a walking path over the bridge.

Other projects the SRJB looks to advance include improvements to move water through Outlaw Creek in McHenry County and river structure improvements at J. Clark Salyer Refuge.

Ackerman also provided an overview of the continued planning for the flood protection project through Minot. A meeting with railroad companies has been scheduled. Among issues to be discussed will be a proposed shift in the Canadian Pacific tracks in central Minot, changing the alignment of the tracks with Burlington Northern in a way that shortens Amtrak’s access to its depot.