The Broadway viaduct will be getting an upgrade starting next year, and that will mean some temporary traffic adjustments through the heart of Minot.
Houston Engineering has nearly completed the project design for the North Dakota Department of Transportation on the first phase of construction, which involves reconstruction of the southbound lanes next year. Design work on the northbound lanes, which will be rebuilt in 2015, will be completed by Dec. 1.
Construction time is expected to run from about April into October on each phase. Ardin Striefel, transportation engineer with the state, said the project requires extra time because of the need to take precautions against debris falling below into the river or on railroad tracks.
Estimated to cost $3.6 million for each phase, the project will involve removing the aging decks and replacing them, along with new south approach slabs, repair to piers and replacement of a beam line in seven spans.
"They are still both very safe, but we are getting to the point that we want to get it done before we have problems in the future," Striefel said. The southbound lanes were last rebuilt in 1962 and the northbound lanes in 1971.
During construction, the usual four-lane traffic will go head-to-head on the two open lanes on the bridge. Motorists also will be encouraged to use alternate routes. During construction, there will be traffic restrictions at Central Avenue and First Avenue South but a protected left turn at Second Avenue Southwest. Traffic control will extend from Second Avenue Southwest to Sixth Avenue Northwest.
"It's a significant project," said Jeremy McLaughlin, project manager with Houston Engineering, Fargo. The project will include aesthetic features such as decorative lighting, stained concrete on barriers and decorative rail, he said.
The 1,000-foot long bridge has pedestrian sidewalks going in each direction. Currently, pedestrians using the north side of the bridge have a barrier against the traffic, but pedestrians on the south side do not. The new design will include a barrier on each side. Contractors also will replace the metal stairway on the west side with a concrete staircase similar to the one on the east side.
Traffic volume southbound over the bridge in 2011 was 12,655 vehicles a day. That is anticipated to grow to 18,860 vehicles a day by 2031. The northbound lanes saw 12,630 vehicles a day in 2012, which is expected to increase to 18,825 vehicles by 2032.