Crews working to remove massive emergency dikes that have blocked several streets within the city for a period of weeks continued to make progress Thursday.
The schedule calls for all emergency dikes, with a few exceptions, to be removed by Oct. 1.
Minot Mayor Curt Zimbleman told The Minot Daily News Thursday that work was progressing at a noticeable pace.
This view looking west along Fourth Avenue Northeast shows progress being made in removing a dike that held flood water out of a portion of north Minot. The St. Anne’s walking bridge and a newer pedestrian bridge are in the background.
"I know they've been getting a lot of it done," said Zimbleman.
Zimbleman said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agreed to "work with us" in leaving some dikes in place where possible. Those dikes would be along the river and not on city streets or private property.
"Whether that happens or not, we'll see," said Zimbleman.
While many homeowners have completed, or nearlly completed, cleaning out their flooded homes, those stuck behind or virtually under clay dikes are just now beginning to gain access to their streets and avenues. With the dirt out of the way, cleanup and fix-up can be accelerated.
Among the noticeable areas of dike removal progress Thursday was Third Street Northwest and along Fourth Avenue Northwest. It appeared late Thursday that those roadways would soon be clear of diking material and may be within days of opening to regular traffic.
Two bridges to the west of North Broadway remained closed Thursday - the Fourth Avenue Bridge to the west of Sammy's Pizza and another bridge a few blocks to the north in the area of the Barley Pop.
"There's no big problems there that I'm aware of," said Cindy Hemphill, finance director. "I assume they'll be open early next week."
Considerable work was done recently in the area of the Fourth Avenue Bridge, but not to the structure proper. Large pumps were needed in that area frequently prior to and during the flood to keep water from inundating Broadway. A storm sewer which had been plugged with cement to keep it from backing up had to be replaced.
The question of when some key street lights will be turned on once again is being asked by many city residents, particularly the night lighting along North Broadway and sections of Burdick Expressway. Hemphill said most of the lights in question are on federal highways and may not be lit for quite some time.
"Because they're on federal highways FEMA has elected not to participate. It's not their expense," explained Hemphill. "We're working and will continue to work with Federal Highways and the D.O.T. Chances are it'll be a bit of time. We have to submit a federal aid road application, ask for bids. It will take a little longer."
Hemphill said she was told by the City Engineering Department that a total of five non-working street lights remain the responsibility of the city.