Late starts due to a wet spring has meant a busy fall for contractors hurrying to complete road construction projects before winter.
Bob Allen, assistant district engineer with the North Dakota Department of Transportation in Minot, said the department expects to complete all its scheduled work in Minot.
The paving on U.S. Highway 2 through Minot is finished but work remains on guard rails and striping, Allen said.
Contractors continued to work Thursday on the $4.9 million Sixth Street Southwest project, which includes a large diameter storm sewer outfall/forcemain pipe to the river, utilities, sidewalks and paving of a road with more bridge clearance.
The bulk of the work on the U.S. Highway 83 Bypass on Minot's west side should be wrapped up within a week, he said.
The part of the project that will be held up is installation of new traffic signals at the junction of the Highway 83 Bypass and U.S. Highway 2 & 52. The existing hanging lights will be replaced by more sturdy structures. The signals are on order, but it likely will be winter before they arrive and can be installed, Allen said.
The new signals are part of changes to improve traffic flow at that intersection. The east-west roadway is being reconstructed to put additional pavement space between the through lanes and turn lanes.
"The biggest change that will probably help that intersection is when you are on the 83 Bypass going south and want to go left to the mall, there will be a double left-turn lane," Allen said.
The extra turn lane is expected to move traffic more quickly and ease the backup of vehicles on the Highway 83 Bypass during busy times.
Although the department's Minot highway projects should be done before snow flies, some state projects around the region might not be.
Allen said one project cutting it close is the road raise on U.S. Highway 83 north of Max. The state had an emergency grade raise put in place after flooding in the spring, and by the time, a permanent project could be advertised and a contractor hired, the work got a late start.
Allen said it won't be a concern if winter sets in before riprap or other finishing work is accomplished, pushing those details off into next year.
"The main thing is we have to get it paved for the traffic and get them back to four lanes so they are not head-to-head for winter," he said.
The City of Minot released an update Friday on its major projects that are ongoing.
Subgrade preparation was being completed on the Sixth Street Southwest underpass Friday. The contractor anticipates 140 yards of concrete going under the east side of the bridge Saturday.
Detours remain in effect on the underpass project. However, Second Avenue will be closed to through traffic, and the original detour route has been temporarily modified to lessen the impact on the 16th Street and Burdick Expressway intersection. Maple Street now is open with the completion of work at the railroad crossing.
In the southeast part of town, 13th Street is closed from about 21st Avenue to 37th Avenue. The intersection of 31st Avenue with 13th Street remains closed. Upon its reopening, the intersection of 37th Avenue and 13th Street will close. The intersection of 34th Avenue with 13th Street is and will remain accessible in the upcoming weeks. The project is behind schedule.
Emergency repair projects are on schedule, with mainly punch list items remaining after Oct. 1. The sheer volume of work has extended the projects through the length of the construction season. Following are the highlights:
16th Street Southwest at Burdick Expressway: head-to-head traffic will remain throughout the next couple of weeks. Lights have been extended, and delays experienced during the first few days of the project are substantially less.
Fourth Avenue/Railway Avenue, between Broadway and 27th Street: Expect lane closures and delays in the upcoming weeks.
West Burdick: Expect some lane closures and delays in the area in the upcoming weeks.
Additional work that is not a city project also is being done at Eighth Avenue and First Street Northwest. Expect intersection and road closures. The intersection will be closed during the first phase of the project. Upon the intersection's reopening, First Street will close to the south of its intersection with Eighth Avenue. Detours will be in place.
The sheer volume of annual street improvement projects, from mill and overlays to chip seal district, also has meant that projects are continuing well into the construction season. The update on existing projects is as follows:
Lane closures and delays on 20th Avenue southwest from Fourth Street to Fifth Street during the coming week.
Lane closure along 24th Avenue Southwest from 16th Street to Dakota Loop at the mall during the coming week. Work on 24th Avenue Southwest may continue partially into the following week.
Interim lane closures on 18th Avenue Southwest from Ninth Street to 11th Street during the coming week.