City of Bismarck working to complete nearly 20 road contracts

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If you’re driving in the Capital City, you may have noticed limited space on the roads — and it’s not because there are too many drivers.

Warmer weather in North Dakota means a few things: fun in the water, winter clothes in the closet and roads being ripped apart.

The City of Bismarck’s engineer says it’s the one time of the year to complete infrastructure improvements.

“On both the roadway perspective, we’re doing waterway improvements, we’re doing electrical improvements, we’re doing safety improvements throughout our community. So if you see construction cones, it might be because we’re fixing something underneath the road or we might be fixing the road itself,” explained Gabe Schell.

There are approximately up to 20 contracts out on road projects in Bismarck at the moment.

The cost of each project could range from a couple of thousand dollars to a few million.

“Many of our construction contracts have just a completion date. Say contractor you need to be done by X date, and usually, we give them the full construction season so they can put their resources towards the most cost-effective way as possible, which hopefully gives us the least cost to our project and to the citizens overall,” explained Schell.

One of the major projects this year is River Road, which has led to a portion being completely closed off to motorists north and south under the I-94 overpass.

“The contractor went in there in the previous couple of weeks and removed the payment, treated the underlying soil with the cement to make it a little bit more stabilized. We’re waiting on a couple of structures that we could then install underneath that roadway. When that’s completed then they’ll come back through and pave the roadway to open that up for traffic,” said Schell.

Two major streets also being worked on are Washington Street, and Divide and 4th Street.

Schell says the goal is to have both of them close to complete or completed by the time school starts.

The majority of the projects have a due date in the month of October.

Schell says the objective with the improvements is to not have to rip up the road for a few years.

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