April 2, 2015

Construction season fast approaching


City Council approves multiple bids

By Jerry W. Kram

It is going to be a long summer for residents of New Town and people trying to get from here to there on North Dakota Highway 23 as the New Town City Council accepted a number of bids for projects and gave its OK for a state project to totally replace Main Street at a special council meeting on March 31.

The biggest project of 2015 will be the Main Street Project, explained city engineer Joe Dubel. He told the council that the project let by the North Dakota Department of Transportation attracted just one bidder, the J.M. Marschuetz Construction Company out of Missouri. The winning bid was $17.7 million, far above the engineering estimate of $12 million. Dubel explained that the city’s share of the project would come to $1.3 million.

Of that $1.3 million, Dubel said, $300,000 was what the city had committed to the project in an agreement with the NDDOT back in 2012. Another $550,000 will be spent on upgrading the sanitary sewer system on the west side of the city. Another $395,000 will be used to install storm drains. Another $70,000 is needed for a turn lane for an approach into the new development being created on the east side of New Town. A final $57,000 will provide for lighting all the way from College Drive to the junction of the truck bypass.

Dubel said the council needed to decide if it was going to approve the added expenditures so the state DOT could move forward with the project. He and engineer Alan Estvold noted that the construction season for this project was going to be tight, so any delays could extend the project into a second year. The council approved spending $1.37 million to move the project forward.

Dubel said the next step would be for the NDDOT to hire an engineering firm to oversee the project. That firm will then meet with Marschuetz to create a construction calendar. That will be the point when more information will be available about how traffic flow and other issues will be available. If all goes smoothly, work on the project could finally begin in mid-April.

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