Wet summer slows project

Construction crews are putting their efforts into the final 600 feet or so of work that needs to be completed for Business Loop East to be open by the end of the month.

John M. Steiner / The Sun Road work continues on Business Loop East as seen Tuesday in Jamestown.

Construction crews are putting their efforts into the final 600 feet or so of work that needs to be completed for Business Loop East to be open by the end of the month.

The $5.3 million project includes a completely revamped street, from the 12th Street and 12th Avenue Southwest intersection to Interstate 94 -- with new sanitary sewers, storm sewers, water lines, concrete surface, street lights and signage and new asphalt for the frontage road.

Heavy rains this spring and summer have forced a delay for most construction projects across North Dakota, said Steve Windish, associate vice president for Ulteig Engineering of Bismarck and Fargo, which designed the project.

"I think every project in the state is behind right now," Windish said.

Business Loop East is no exception, but Windish said it will be completed regardless of any snowfall to come this year.


"I don't see where we have a choice in the matter," he said. "If it snows we have to work around it. We have to get that road open by the end of the year."

Patrick Hockett, project manager for Sellin Brothers Inc. of Hawley, Minn., the project's contractor, said the main focus at this point is a couple hundred of yards to finish the paved curbed roadway.

The intersection of 12th Avenue Southeast and Business Loop East was closed Monday. The intersection of 13th Avenue Southeast and Business Loop East also closed Monday. Businesses on the south side of Business Loop East can be accessed by taking a detour.

The work left to be done before the intersection opens is to subgrade the dirt, put down a recycled base and pour the concrete, he said.

The past five weeks or so were dry compared to what the rest of summer and spring have offered, but the water is still in the ground.

"The waiting slows you down," Hockett said. "Obviously the rain we got, if they come at the wrong times the subgrade is wet."

Currently, after removing a foot of dirt, workers find the high groundwater, he said.

Hockett estimates the total project of just under a mile is about three-fifths complete, which he said was good progress considering the weather and other factors.


"In a replacement project you're always going to find things that nobody anticipates encountering," he said.

One example was finding the storm sewer piped over the sanitary sewer, a technique not modernly done. Another was a grade conflict with the system's tie into the existing part of the system.

Work has progressed since the project started in April. Work is 99 percent complete on the sanitary and storm sewer lines, as well as the water main. All that needs to be completed are some tie-ins to businesses and the system, Windish said.

There will also be street lights along the curbed roads, and new signage installed.

When setbacks and rain are taken into consideration, Hockett said overall the city of Jamestown and Ulteig have been great to work with, and that the street should be open by the start of November.

"Nobody likes when we're here, but they'll be happy when we're gone," Hockett said.

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