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Construction Update: SE Main|20 St|21 St Underpass Project

Neighborhood input requested

Post Date:05/10/2019 11:25 am

The City of Moorhead has received a request from Ames Construction, the primary contractor for the SE Main Underpass project that would allow 24-hour construction for a 3-week period beginning approximately June 4, 2019 in order to regain schedule progress that has been impeded by circumstances beyond Ames’ control.

This request will be considered by the Moorhead City Council at their meeting of Monday, May 13 as part of agenda item #12 that also includes change orders that reduce the project cost. The full Council briefing on this matter is available for your review. Here’s a summary of the construction hours request:

  • The BNSF Railway temporary tracks under construction now, are behind the original schedule due to design changes and the extended winter weather. These tracks must be operational before Ames can begin bridge construction. This delay is beyond the control of Ames Construction. It is expected that the temporary tracks will be operational on or about June 4, 2019.
  • Ames Construction has requested to extend construction hours for three weeks immediately following the temporary track completion to operate round the clock from 7 am Monday until 5 pm Saturday, with two 10-hour shifts each day and two hour breaks in between shifts for refueling and maintenance. They would like to do this again in September when the permanent Ottertail Valley Railroad track reopens.
  • Truck traffic would be routed from SE Main to Highway 10 or from SE Main to 12 Ave S to 34 St and Highway 10. Ames would disable back-up warning beepers on the overnight shift to limit the noise disruption to the extent feasible.

What is the benefit to granting this request? There is no financial benefit to granting this request to extend hours. Yet, making up for lost time may mean that the underpass could be closer to operational before the end of 2019. The schedule is very tight, weather and additional coordination with the railroad may still prevent a 2019 opening. However, not allowing the extended hours would almost certainly mean that the underpass would not be operational until 2020.

Staff has recommended granting the request for the initial 3-week, 24-hour shift request, but delaying a decision on the request for extended hours in September when the impact on schedule can be better evaluated.

What would the neighborhood prefer? This request has an impact on the neighborhood either way. Residents’ input on the 3-week extended construction hours vs. the possibility of speeding up the completion date is important and welcome. If you have an opinion on whether or not to grant extended hours, please contact the Engineering Department. This feedback will be helpful in making this decision.

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