BNSF gets preliminary approval to sell property for realignment project in Jamestown
The project includes paving 12th Avenue Southeast from 5th to 6th Street Southeast.
JAMESTOWN – A project to improve and realign a road in southeast Jamestown could be moving one step closer to happening.
The project, recommended by the Jamestown City Council in June 2022, includes pavement reconstruction on 12th Avenue Southeast and realigning the road to the intersection of 11th Avenue and 4th Street Southeast.
City Engineer Travis Dillman told the Jamestown Public Works Committee on Thursday, Jan. 26, that BNSF Railway Co. has received preliminary approval to sell property the company owns for the road project. The realignment portion of the road project includes purchasing the right of way from BNSF and a portion of another property.
BNSF owns the property located between 3rd Street and 5th Street Southeast and 11th Avenue and 12th Avenue Southeast.
“We’re moving closer in that direction but there’s still no signed agreement,” Dillman said.
Dillman told The Jamestown Sun on Monday, Jan. 30, that once the sale is complete, the project can go out to bid.
Mayor Dwaine Heinrich said the project is probably the No. 1 street or traffic issue that the city of Jamestown hears about. He said 12th Avenue Southeast is used by a large number of people such as those going to the North Dakota State Hospital, North Dakota Farmers Union, Two Rivers Activity Center, golf courses and other destinations.
“There is a good stretch of (12th Avenue Southeast) that is gravel, and it has a lot of traffic on gravel,” he said. “Regardless of what we try results in a lot of dust when it’s dry which also causes issues for the people who live nearby.”
The city of Jamestown, in cooperation with the North Dakota Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration, is proposing roadway improvements to 12th Avenue Southeast from 3rd Street to 6th Street Southeast. The proposed project consists of reconstructing 12th Avenue Southeast from 3rd to 6th Street Southeast with a realignment between 3rd and 5th Street Southeast.
In addition to realigning 12th Avenue Southeast a new road would be created at the intersection of 12th and 5th Street Southeast that would curve northwest toward the intersection of 11th Avenue and 4th Street Southeast. The project includes paving 12th Avenue Southeast from 5th to 6th Street Southeast and building a cul-de-sac road for access to an electrical business along 12th Avenue Southeast and the city water department’s water tank and station.
The purpose of the project is to correct the structural integrity of the roadway, improve traffic flows from northeast to southeast Jamestown and minimize safety risks at the existing BNSF railroad quiet zone crossing. When complete, it would prevent motorists from turning onto 12th Avenue Southeast near the railroad tracks.
“The road would shift somewhere over by 11th (Avenue Southeast) so that we can actually do better turning movements,” Dillman said.
The estimated cost of the project is more than $1.1 million with the city’s share being $223,000, The Sun reported in June. Eighty percent of the project’s cost would be paid by federal and state funds while the local share would be 20%.
Dillman said the goal is for the project to be completed this year.
Heinrich said getting the project complete will hopefully open the rest of the property between 3rd Street and 5th Street Southeast and 11th Avenue and 12th Avenue Southeast for development. He said it’s not a large area but it’s an ideal area for development.
“It’s one of the things that we want to see and one of the things the state is pushing is to have infilling of unused areas not only within our city but that is a push across the state of North Dakota rather than creating new green-filled areas where it’s not necessary,” he said.