Lack of flooding speeds up road construction projects – InForum

FARGO — The lack of a flood season so far is a big boost to departments that would normally be fighting rising waters this time of year.

Instead of laying sandbags, the Cass County Highway Department and the North Dakota Department of Transportation are getting a head start on road repairs.

“We don’t necessarily want to tackle a project until the water levels are at a manageable level. With the water levels as they are today, we can get started way sooner, if not a month or more sooner,” said Kyle Litchy, Assistant County Engineer with the Cass County Highway Department.

A number of projects, ranging from a bridge replacement west of Alice to a number of box culvert repairs all across Cass County, are all getting ready to begin. Another project getting a head start is a mill and overlay on county roads 14, 17, and 6 in Horace. That project will refresh the asphalt and bring additional turn lanes to help with future growth.

For the many projects starting soon, the lack of any major flooding also helps them get equipment on site earlier.

For the DOT, not having to put its entire staff on flood duty until crest levels drop has teams already starting on other work, according to maintenance superintendent Kent Leysring.

DOT crews have already been able to finish patching on I-29 in Fargo, and are now working on I-94 in town as well, with work on repairs also starting to the south around Wahpeton and to the north in Hillsboro. Being able to get a head start on patching will make it easier to tackle the many other tasks in store this spring and summer.

“Mowing, guard rail, fencing, it just never runs out. We’ve got a lot of summer projects. Trees to trim, chain-link fence to repair, so it just gives us more time to get a lot of them projects done,” Leysring said.

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