September 1, 2015

City rushes to wrap up street projects

By Amy Robinson
Farmer Staff Writer

Watford City motorists will soon see less detour signs and can finally start to look forward to a fall season with less roadwork. According to Justin Smith, Watford City superintendent of Public Works, downtown road projects will be completed this week, with only the big projects to be completed later this fall.
“Some of the projects that will be completed this week include the pressure zone project, the 4th Avenue project, and a couple side-street projects,” said Smith. “We had a couple-day closure on two blocks of Main Street last week for asphalt overlay, but that has been completed. And the seal coat project is also complete.”
There will be three big city road projects remaining, says Smith. Those projects include the Highway 23 re-construction project, the 12th Street SE project, and the 4th Avenue NW project.
“The Highway 23 re-construction project has a Nov. 1 scheduled substantial completion date,” stated Smith. “I don’t expect that project to be completed early. The project includes the Cherry Creek Bridge, pedestrian path and underpass, new frontage roads, and new traffic and street lights.”
However, Smith believes the 12th Street SE project, which is affecting the acess to and from the new bypass, will be done ahead of schedule.
“12th Street is partially closed and  open to local traffic only,” said Smith. “This phase of work in the roadway should be completed in less than a month. This phase is the utility installation of the project which includes sanitary sewer, storm sewer, and water mains. Work on the second phase of this project will occur next year, which includes the paving portion of the project.”
The third road project the city will have remaining is 4th Avenue NW, from 5th Street to 14th Street, west of the water tower.
“That project doesn’t really affect a lot of people,” says Smith. “It’s due to be completed by the end of October. The mass grading and storm sewer installation is about half complete. There’s some underground utility work, on the east end, that the rest of the mass grading is waiting on. When they do get going again, however, it should go fairly quickly. The project is probably not quite half-way to completion.”
But, says Smith, those projects will conclude this year’s roadway work, and hopefully, ease some of the local motorists stress.
“Street sweeping and snow plowing plans are hopefully a couple months away at least,” added Smith.