Jamestown, surrounding area sees more road construction projects

A majority of the road construction projects around Jamestown occurred through the North Dakota Department of Transportation

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Motorists on Mill Hill gets backed up a bit on a temporary basis as a four-way-blinking-light stop sign helps control traffic.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun
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JAMESTOWN — The end of summer has come and gone, and with that Jamestown will soon see the end of construction season as well.

The city and surrounding area saw more road construction projects this year than normal, but all of them are needed to maintain safe and drivable roads, said Tyler Michel, engineering technician with the city of Jamestown.

“It seemed like everywhere you went there was a construction project,” Michel said.

The vast majority of construction around Jamestown occurred through the North Dakota Department of Transportation. There were four projects in the area, with one spanning several Interstate 94 exits.

The sole DOT project that has been completed so far is the N.D. Highway 20 street maintenance from downtown Jamestown toward Jamestown High School, said Nathan Haaland, assistant district director for the Valley City area with the North Dakota Department of Transportation.


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Motorists traveling up and down on 5th Avenue Northeast now have a clean-looking and smooth surface to drive on as a new overlay of asphalt was added.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

Repair construction on U.S. Highway 281/52, or Mill Hill, started in May and still has a few weeks until it’s completed. Some equipment broke down during the process, and crews are waiting on the part before pavement markings can be installed and it can be completed, Haaland said.

The U.S. Highway 52/281 bypass is currently being milled and overlaid, and it needed a bridge repair from regular wear and tear. Haaland expects construction to continue on the project for at least another four weeks.

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A flagman helps with traffic control Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022, on the Bud Murphy Highway west of Jamestown. The roadway is also known as the US HWY 52 Bypass.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

The biggest project the DOT is working on in the area is Interstate 94 exits 260 through 257.

Exit 257 has been closed since June and is expected to remain closed for another three to four weeks. Crews are working on the second half of the bridge right now.

“That’s been closed for a while because of the intensive work we had to do,” Haaland said.

The James River bridge near exit 260 is also getting intensive work, forcing two lanes to be closed over the last month or so. Haaland said construction crews are preparing to switch traffic back to the other side and finish the joint repair on the bridge, but it will be another couple of weeks until the bridge work is done. The entire interstate project isn’t expected to be completed until mid-October.

As for city construction, the main road work focused on the northwest and northeast areas of Jamestown. Such work focused on pothole patching, crack sealing, curb and gutter work and chip sealing, Michel said.

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A crew works Monday, July 25, 2022, to fix cracks in pavement in northwest Jamestown.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

While that work caused some traffic delays and narrowed roads to two-way traffic in some areas, everything is done except for some minor work that might be delayed until next spring. That won’t have an impact on traffic or drivers, Michel said.


Haaland said he knows road construction can be frustrating, but the current projects will be completed by winter.

“They’re trying to get everything done as fast as they possibly can,” Haaland said. “Drivers please focus on the road and let us get through the project so we can make it safe for drivers and for those of us who are out there working.”

As for the next few years, the Jamestown area will see a return to lighter road construction.

The city will focus on the southeast section of Jamestown in 2023, between Second Avenue West south of the train tracks over to the train tracks on the eastern edge of the city. The work will include pothole patching, crack sealing, curb and gutter work and chip sealing again.

The city also plans to pave a portion of 12th Avenue Southeast and realign it to make the area safer, Michel said.

On the DOT end, there are some repairs coming to roads such as Highways 20 and 281, Haaland said. But “the big one,” which includes a reconstruction at the bottom of Mill Hill, is six to seven years down the road.

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