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$37 million county road project at an impasse

Posted 8/29/18 (Wed)

$37 million county road project at an impasse

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

A 22-mile reconstruction and paving project on three McKenzie County roads is on hold until the county can resolve differences with landowners along the route.
“We’re at an impasse,” stated Suhail Kanwar, McKenzie County Public Works director at the Tuesday, Aug. 21 meeting of the McKenzie County Board of County Commissioners. “I’ve requested the state’s attorney office to research how eminent domain works.”
In an interview following the commissioners meeting, Brady Bertam of Brosz Engineering, Inc., said that as a result of the county not being able to secure the right-of-way agreements along County Road 37 for the project, the Aug. 17 bid opening for the $37 million project was cancelled.
“We have one landowner who doesn’t want to sign the easement,” stated Bertam. “That landowner believes that their property is worth more than what the county is offering. We’ve offered the same per acre dollar amount to every property owner on this project.”
Bertam says that the 15 mile County Road 37 project is part of a larger road project that ties that stretch of road into 125th Ave north five miles to the intersection of the Highway 23 Bypass and 125th Ave. South two miles from County Road 37 to County Road 34.
The County Road 37 portion, according to Bertam, involves realignment of the existing gravel road and asphalt paving, while the other two sections would include asphalt paving.

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