News Flash

City of Minot News Flash

Posted on: March 9, 2023

2023 construction season will be busy

Chip sealing 2022

Construction season will soon be upon us, and 2023 is shaping up to be a busy time for the City of Minot.

This year, the City has scheduled its largest chip seal project ever, and will also use a roadway resurfacing process for the first time.

“It’s called a microsurface, which is a slurry of asphalt, cement, and fine aggregate that gets mixed and applied to the roadway,” City Engineer Lance Meyer said. “It’s not as intensive as a mill and overlay, but it’s like an enhanced chip seal.”

The first pass over a roadway lays down a layer that helps fill ruts and even out the roadway. Then a second pass adds a final protective layer.

“It keeps building up the roadway so eventually you fill the voids and have a nice protective coating over the top of it,” Meyer said. “The process has been around for a long time, but this is our first time using it. You get a better result than a chip seal, but it costs a little more, so there’s always a balance.”

Meyer said microsurfacing will be used in a few locations this year:

-On 16th Street SW from near the interchange to 14th Avenue SW

-On East Burdick Expressway from 27th Street SE to the river bridge by Roosevelt Park Zoo

-On 13th Street SE, from 37th Avenue to 18th Avenue

“It’s not as disruptive as a mill and overlay, but we only want to use it in areas where we don’t have a lot of driveway traffic because it can be a little inconvenient for residential driveways,” Meyer said. “But it’s a pretty quick curing process, so in an hour or so we can have traffic back on the street.”

The chip sealing scheduled for this year is the largest chip seal project the City has ever planned, including 572,824 square yards. Work will take place in several locations around Minot, including in the areas near Edison Elementary, Washington Elementary, and several spots in the Bel Air area, including Crescent Drive, Tuxedo Road, and Academy Road.

Chip sealing is also scheduled on several arterial roads that have been resurfaced in recent years, including 16th Street SW, 31st Avenue SW, 20th Avenue NW, and 31st Avenue NW.

“Our North Dakota climate is really tough on asphalt pavement. Almost as soon as you pave them, the pavement starts going through a process called oxidation,” Meyer said. “The sun and elements start breaking down the asphalt layer. If you don’t seal the roads quickly enough, they start to deteriorate. That initial seal is critical to extending the lifespan of the asphalt.”

“We’ve made significant investments in mill and overlays on major arterial roads like 16th Street SW, 37th Avenue SW and others. Now we need to protect that investment by putting down this chip seal,” Meyer said.

The stretch of 4th Avenue between Broadway and 25th St NW will also be chip-sealed, and then new pavement markings will be installed to change the roadway from four lanes of traffic to one lane in each direction with a center turn lane and outside bike lanes.

Meyer said that stretch of roadway eventually will be a candidate for a reconstruction, with new utilities and replacing the pavement with concrete. But that work will have to wait until the Maple Diversion phase of the Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection project is completed.

“We don’t want to put a lot of work into that roadway because when they build the Maple Diversion phase of flood control, they’ll have to haul out a lot of material and 4th Avenue will take a beating with truck traffic,” he said. “When that project is completed, we’ll evaluate the road condition and see what’s the best plan moving forward.”

Work on the Maple Diversion phase could begin in 2024, and would likely take three years to complete.

Several mill and overlay projects are scheduled for this summer, including:

-Lakeside Street, between 20th Avenue NW and 21st Avenue NW. “This road has completely fallen apart, so it’s time for a reconstruction,” Meyer said.

-10th St SW, from 14th Avenue to 16th Avenue. This section was part of a project last year, but completion was delayed when crews discovered bad soil.

-7th Avenue SW, from 16th Street heading west. “Part of that road is new, and parts of it are old. We’ll do a mill and overlay on the older sections of the road to get a better ride,” Meyer said.

Two Safe Routes to School sidewalk projects are planned this year, one in the Washington Elementary area that will construct sidewalks on both sides of Hiawatha Street between 16th Avenue SW and 11th Avenue SW. The other project is near Bel Air Elementary, on 25th Street NW, 27th Street NW, and 10th Avenue NW.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation will lead a few projects in the Minot area in 2023 that will impact vehicle travel, including work on the Burdick Expressway viaduct.

“That bridge is over 40 years old and it hasn’t had any major work done on it,” Meyer said. “They’ll jack the approach slabs because they’ve settled a bit, and replace some of the concrete on the piers, replace the street lighting, and the fencing. Essentially, they’ll make sure everything on the bridge is up to safety standards and update the aesthetics of it at the same time.”

The project is scheduled to be completed before the North Dakota State Fair starts in July, and the bridge will have head-to-head traffic while work takes place on two lanes at a time. The City of Minot has a 10 percent cost share on the project.

The DOT will also be chip sealing the West Bypass, and doing some bridge maintenance on the eastbound lanes of the Highway 2/52 bridge near The View and on the northbound lanes of the Highway 83 Bypass bridge over the railroad tracks.

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