Work soon will be wrapping up for the season on the 55th Street East bridge, where crews were laying concrete on the last of three decks Tuesday.
Next spring, contractors will complete the bridge barriers and approaches on each side. The bridge is expected to open in mid-June.
Meanwhile, the remainder of the Northeast Bypass already has opened and a ribbon cutting is scheduled for today at 2 p.m.
Jill Schramm/MDN • Project engineer Jeff McElwain with Ackerman-Estvold, and project manager Josh Brudelie with Ames Construction show Congressman Rick Berg progress on the 55th Street East bridge Tuesday.
Congressman Rick Berg, R-N.D., stopped to see the bridge progress while in Minot to visit with city and business leaders Tuesday.
The decision of Berg, who is running for U.S. Senate, to view the bridge work prompted a response from opponent Democrat Heidi Heitkamp's campaign. Campaign manager Tessa Gould said Berg is trying to hide his party-line vote in February 2011 that rescinded $14.13 million for the bridge along with other stimulus program money that had not yet been spent. Berg was opposed to President Obama's economic stimulus programs and said at the time that the traditional transportation appropriation process should be used for the Minot project.
Engineers and North Dakota, Minot and Ward County officials worked to advance the environmental study, rights of way and design work so the project could be submitted for federal approval before funding could be rescinded.
Berg recalled joining Sens. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Kent Conrad, D-N.D., in meeting with the U.S. transportation secretary to later argue for funding for the project. The bottom line is the work was done that secured the grant for the project, he said.