A common saying in North Dakota is that there are only two seasons – winter and construction season. The residents of Langdon may certainly feel this way as the temperatures have barely broken 60 degrees and the Langdon City Phase II street project has already begun.
By Melissa Anderson
The work to make the water and sewer infrastructure for residents up-to-date and better functioning has been a long process for the Langdon City Commission and Moore Engineering’s Andrew Aakre. As the project manager for the improvement project, Aakre has spent countless hours with the Commission to create the best solutions and process for the City of Langdon and its residents.
“It’s very important to have adequate infrastructure to provide basic services that are essential to economic activity and quality of life. In addition, replacing older infrastructure reduces the cost of maintaining these items,” Langdon City Auditor RoxAnne Hoffarth said.
The streets that will be worked on this construction season include:
• 8th Street: from 14th Avenue to 11th Avenue,
• 11th Avenue: from 8th Street to 2nd Street,
• 5th Street: from 14th Avenue to 11th Avenue,
• 3rd Street: from 13th Avenue to 11th Avenue,
• 13th Avenue: from 3rd Street to 2nd Street.
“This project involves replacing the water mains, sewer mains, and storm sewers on the streets included in the project,” Aakre said.
The intent of the project is to replace aging and deteriorating infrastructure, namely the water and sewer mains, with the street being replaced as a result. In addition, this Phase 2 project will be eliminating a sanitary sewer lift station which is actually located in the middle of 5th Street.
“Eliminating this lift station will reduce the amount of mechanical components on the sewer collection system, reduce energy consumption, and eliminate a pump station that is in an undesirable location,” Aakre explained.
Following the hard work of last summer for Phase I which updated sections of infrastructure in desperate need as well as laying down new pavement on some of the worst streets in the city, Phase II has even bigger goals. The responsibility for the completion of this phase has been given to Spruce Valley Corporation located in Middle River, Minnesota.
“The first thing the Contractor (Spruce Valley Corporation) will be completing is the reclamation of the existing asphalt street. The existing pavement will be pulverized and salvaged,” Aakre explained. “For the time being, vehicular traffic will continue to use it for the driving surface, but as the contractor proceeds with underground pipe installation, the pavement will be removed then reused as the base for the new asphalt pavement.”
As the work progresses this summer, the contractor will be notifying residents in advance of any temporary water outages during construction as well as keeping individual homeowners informed of the schedule for access to their homes.
“There will be periods of time while the contractor is working that access to driveways will not be possible. The contractor will work to minimize that to the best of their ability,” Aakre said.
Another question that Aakre often has to address is regarding the reseeding of the grass after construction. Aakre explained that the contractor will be reseeding the grass as part of this project, but it likely won’t happen immediately after the construction has been performed in that area.
The completion dates for the work are as follows:
• August 2, 2019, for 8th Street on the west side of the elementary school as well as 11th Avenue on the south side of the elementary school. The Langdon City Commission requested this as it would be preferable if the construction was completed by the elementary school when the school was not in regular session. That is the reason that there is an August 2nd completion date for that work.
• All other streets as part of this project will have a completion date of September 27, 2019. The date for the remainder of the work is set for the end of September to give the contractor the majority of the construction season to get the work completed.
“Tightening the time frame for the work to get done usually has two effects: it often increases the price of the project, and it can diminish the interest of contractors to submit a bid for the work,” Aakre said.
• The final asphalt placement will be completed by June 12, 2020. Aakre explained that by waiting until next summer to place the final lift of asphalt, it gives the road a longer lifespan.
“Our experience has been that waiting until the next construction season to place the last lift of asphalt provides a better long-term product. It give the ground one freeze-thaw cycle through a winter and allows minor settling to be addressed before the street work is complete,” Aakre said.
“While our human curiosity often beckons us to check out the construction activity, please remember that the contractor is working with large equipment, keep a safe distance and give them the room to work that they need,” Aakre requested.
The City of Langdon, Moore Engineering, and Spruce Valley Corporation and employees thank you for your cooperation.