MANDAN, N.D. - Lengthy rain delays in May and June might push back completion of paving work in front of some Mandan High School entrances until after the Aug. 22 school opening at Sunset Drive and Sixth Avenue Northwest, though the contractor is working hard to get it done.
Justin Froseth, city engineer, said Knife River, the general contractor of the $4.04 million project, is still confident it can finish that portion of the work in time, barring any other major weather delays in the next two weeks. Knife River had planned to complete the resurfacing in front of the school entrances at Seventh, Eighth and Division streets by late July, but is behind schedule, he said.
“The weather is the No. 1 reason we’re pushing the deadline,” Froseth said.
Froseth said construction crews also are also pushing to finish the entrance in front of Division Street in time for school because many students use it to park at the Braves Center.
“They may still be finishing the water, sewer storm sewer and electrical (work) there,” Froseth said.
Since the spring rain delays, Knife River has worked weekends to compensate for nearly a month of work lost, he added.
If the high school entrance paving deadlines are not met, the south route to the high school can still be reached by turning left on Seventh Street, Froseth said. Ninth Avenue leading down to south of the high school should be open to the public despite maintenance work there, he explained.
Completion for all utility and paving work is scheduled for sometime in November, according to Froseth.
There will be more information about the paving schedule after Thursday’s weekly construction meeting, he said.
Froseth said it has not been determined if fines would be imposed against the contractor if the deadline is not met. It would be a city commission decision based partly on what consulting engineer Houston Engineering recommends, he said.
A later phase of the project involves permanently blocking upper Sixth Avenue Northwest portion of a fork above the high school, where Sixth Avenue Northwest and Sunset Drive split, Froseth said.
“We will get rid of the fork. We will fill it in. It will be permanent,” he said. “Sixth (Avenue Northwest) will be cut off south of Division Street.”
Local homeowners will still have public access. South-bound drivers using upper Sixth Street Northwest will no longer be able to merge directly with traffic coming from Sunset Drive near the high school in the future. They will turn either on Division, 14th and 15th streets however, according to Casey Einrem of Houston Engineering.
Traffic moving north from Sixth Avenue Northwest, can still reach Sunset Drive by turning right at Division, 14th and 15th streets, Einrem said.
Einrem said the angle of the fork with merging traffic is simply too dangerous and put motorists at risk of collisions.