Fargo City Commission talks possibilities for the N. Broadway bridge

Valley News Live at 10:00PM KVLY - VOD
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 9:50 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The Fargo City Commission met tonight, with a big topic of conversation being a makeover or demolition of the N. Broadway bridge from Fargo to Moorhead.

This is part of the recommendation for Federal Aid Transportation Project Applications for 2026 and 2027.

City engineers say, traffic data shows the bridge going from North Dakota to Minnesota carries the least amount of traffic, is the shortest, and lowest.

The options given to the commissioners were: Replace it as is, replace diversion flows, or to just not do anything.

  • If they were to replace it as it is, the City would need to request another $1.2 million in federal aid, bringing the total cost of the project to $5.4 million.
  • To replace the diversion flows, $4.2 million would need to be requesting, with the total cost coming to $8.4 million. They would also need to work with Clay County on ability to fund their portion.
  • If the City decides to not act on this, they will need to reallocate the $4.3 million in federal aid already here.

No matter what the City decides, the engineers say a decision needs to be made in the next 10 to 12 months.

During their conversation, the commissioners didn’t agree.

Commissioner Dave Piepkorn said the commission should look ahead to the future growth of our area and try to make it the best for everyone.

”We’re talking a fairly significant amount of local dollars, and definitely a lot of federal dollars. I say we need to look at our priorities here, and this in my mind is not one of them,” said Commissioner Arlette Preston.

Commissioner John Strand also said he’s struggling with the idea of the City building into the floodplain when no one else has been allowed to.

City engineers say since the bridge was built in 1991, it’s gone underwater 15 times. Typically, that’s happened for around 15 days at a time.

All bridge projects over rivers are required to have hydraulic modeling completed to demonstrate impact of the project. The analysis needs to show “no rise” in a 100 year flood water elevation, if constructed. The engineers say local consulting engineers would complete the process.

Now, the city engineers will do the cost-benefit analysis of each option.