Memorial Hwy Reconstruction Design Continues, Schedule Shifts

The Memorial Highway reconstruction project is in the final design phase with a shift in the project schedule. An off-highway improvement, namely construction of storm sewer piping, was anticipated to occur in 2022. The City of Mandan, North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) and consultant firm HDR Engineering, Inc. are working on stormwater drainage challenges. The start of construction has been pushed back to address these challenges.

Funding. City staff and leaders are working on different funding sources and scenarios for the project. Funding sources being considered include citywide property taxes, American Rescue Plan Act funds, the utility fund for underground work, and special assessments to commercial and residential property owners in the surrounding area. The City is also seeking a State Water Commission grant for the project to increase capacity of the water lines.

“We’re looking at the use of funds strategically, while keeping other important, upcoming projects in mind,” says City Administrator Jim Neubauer. City staff and NDDOT are discussing and identifying ways to make this project more affordable, including how to minimize the impact of inflation in construction costs. The local share for above-ground costs and storm sewer is 10%. Mandan is responsible for the majority of the remaining underground work to improve City-owned infrastructure.

Special assessments. A special assessment district will need to be set up prior to issuing the construction plan package for bid. The City would then mail letters to commercial and residential property owners. The purpose of the letter is to explain project components and estimated costs with a provision for a protest period.

Phases. Original plans were to complete the project in phases over the course of three consecutive construction seasons. Depending on the solution to the stormwater drainage piece of the project, proposed construction phases may be adjusted. The corridor is to remain open to two-way traffic throughout construction with access maintained for businesses.

Project scope. Reconstruction of Memorial Highway between Main Street and 46th Ave SE will address roadway deficiencies, reduce conflict points and improve multi-modal transportation along the corridor. Key components include the addition of sidewalks and a multi-use path; improved traffic flow, intersection improvements and drainage; and addressing pavement at the end of its useful life. Montana Dakota Utilities is also involved in discussions about possibly burying overhead power lines.

Along the east end of the corridor, private utility companies have been relocating and adjusting existing utilities to accommodate future corridor improvements.

Additional information on the Memorial Highway reconstruction project is available at cityofmandan.com/roadprojects.