FARGO – With just two major highway projects slated for next year, Cass County highway engineer Jason Benson expects a big boost in the years to come, when additional federal and state funds could arrive in the vaults.
Next year, work will include the more than $ 4 million reconstruction of County Road 9 from near Casselton south to Durbin and a $ 1.2 million project to complete construction of cobblestone streets. near new schools in the booming town of Horace to connect to 45th Street and 64th Avenue in the far south Fargo and north Horace areas.
Benson said it will be 2023 and 2024 when major increases in funding come from the new federal infrastructure bill passed by Congress and the state, which plans to pay approximately $ 7 million to the county over two years via its Prairie Dog program to help road and bridge projects through oil tax revenues.
Benson said the North Dakota Department of Transportation is still reviewing the different amounts of money in increasing federal aid, so he’s not sure how much more federal aid they might receive.
Already, however, the county is expected to receive around $ 3 million in additional funds that were approved during last month’s special legislative session for COVID relief funds.
If those funds are allocated on time, Benson said they plan to use them to lengthen the gravel road project to Arthur from four miles to 12 miles, running from the highway to town.
The $ 1 million project, which could reach $ 2.8 million if extended, will include the replacement of culverts, some of which may date back to the 1960s, and the reshaping and strengthening of the road in gravel and subgrade.
For paved roads, the most important project in this region next year is the County Road 9 project. This involves rebuilding and widening the asphalt road, as well as renovating four miles of the road. county that is gravel. A mile of gravel road on County Road 6 that connects to County Road 9 is also part of the project.
Benson said the pavement on Durbin Road is the oldest in the county and in the worst condition. He said the county has always tried to provide paved roads for every small town in the county that has a grain elevator due to truck traffic.
The project near the newly built Horace schools is almost a necessity. This will allow residents to travel to and from the city in 2023 when a bridge will be replaced on County Road 17 – the main road between West Fargo and Horace – and a roundabout will be installed on the road to county at the intersection of 64th avenue. .
Benson said there were no other north-south paved roads in that area that could be used for a detour in 2023, and that it would be too difficult to use gravel roads.
As for the bridges, a map shows that there are many cement culvert projects planned in several areas of the county, including near Harwood, Hunter, Page and Alice.
A major bridge replacement is planned on County Road 15, just southeast of Mapleton. Benson said the bridge just south of Interstate 94 is narrow and prone to flooding and has been closed during every major flood on the Maple and Sheyenne Rivers. As traffic increases on the bridge, he said it was important to improve, widen and elevate it.
Benson said federal assistance could also include more funds for bridge work. In his report, he said there are 565 bridge structures in the county, including 228 that are 20 feet or more in length.
He said about 27% were built before 1960 and have reached the end of their lifespan or cannot handle today’s truck traffic.
NDDOT performs inspections of bridges over 20 feet in two-year cycles. Benson said the latest report lists 10 structurally deficient bridges, two in critically fractured condition and six that are functionally obsolete. None of the county road bridges are listed as needing immediate replacement with federal funding, as most are in fair condition, but expectations are that many will reach this stage in the next few years.
1/2: Here’s a photo of a box culvert that replaced an old bridge in a project this year that was done in preparation for the Cass County Highway 9 widening and reconstruction project slated for next year.
2/2: Here is a photo of the Cass County Highway 15 bridge just southeast of Mapleton that was flooded in 2011. The bridge and causeway are overflowed for several hundred feet. The new bridge that will be built here next year will be 160 feet long and will be raised to prevent it from overflowing in future flooding, according to county road engineer Jason Benson.