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

Neighborhood input requested

Post Date:07/12/2019 9:30 am

Neighborhood input requested

Ames Construction, the primary contractor for the SE Main Underpass project, requests the City allow 24-hour construction for a second 3-week period anticipated to begin in early September. This would advance the project timeline, which was impeded by circumstances beyond Ames’ control in early 2019. The first request granted 24-hour construction for 3 weeks in June. Consideration of this request for a second ‘blitz’ period was delayed to better evaluate the impact on schedule and consult further with the neighborhood.

This request will be considered by the Moorhead City Council at their meeting of Monday, July 22. The agenda will be posted to and available to the public on July 19.

Here’s a summary of the overnight construction hours request:

  • Temporary railroad tracks, which were delayed by design changes and the extended winter weather, are now in use by Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Ottertail Valley Railroad.
  • During a 3-week June overnight construction period, the contractor completed most of the excavation where the former tracks were. Construction can now begin on two of the three permanent railroad bridges by mid to late July. These first two bridges are estimated to be complete by early September.
  • The permanent OTVR tracks will then be constructed and the temporary tracks removed. Once the OTVR track is complete and operational, excavation can be conducted in preparation for construction of the third bridge.
  • The requested expanded construction hours would begin following the permanent OTVR track completion, operating for three weeks from 7 am Monday until 5 pm Saturday. Overnight activities would be limited to excavation and hauling.
  • 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. The use of back-up warning beepers on the overnight shift will be minimized by staging haul routes so that trucks are almost always driving forward to limit the noise disruption to the extent feasible.

What is the benefit to granting this request? As noted in May, 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.

How did it go in June? The City recognizes the impact on the residents. Residents’ input on the 3-week extended construction hours vs. the possibility of speeding up the completion date is important and welcome. We’ve not heard that the overnight excavation and hauling caused significant disruption of the neighborhood in June. If it was a hardship, please let us know as a second request is considered.

Let us know your thoughts. If you have thoughts about whether or not to grant extended hours, please contact the Engineering Department before July 22. This feedback will be helpful to the Mayor and Council in making this decision.

Moorhead Underpass 6.28.19 2 

Photo courtesy of Gehrtz Construction

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