FARGO — With the massive renovation of Bell Bank’s new headquarters building in downtown Fargo, the city and the company are finalizing a right-of-way agreement that will affect traffic, sidewalks and utilities in the area.
Earlier this month, the City of Fargo commission unanimously approved a month-long closure this summer of First Avenue South by Island Park after reversing a two-month closure.
Municipal Division Engineer Kevin Gorder, who said his department wanted to be a partner in the effort, described the avenue as one of the busiest east-west streets in downtown with heavy traffic. approximately 2,200 vehicles per day.
The closing would be from South Broadway just before the YMCA parking lot entrances.
Exact dates have not been announced.
The closure will allow the bank to relocate the installation of precast concrete piers for additional new offices and a smaller parking ramp on the south side of the old West Bank building.
An old private parking ramp was demolished there. The bank purchased the city’s now-closed Island Park ramp for its parking lot.
Olaf Anderson Construction Co., the project’s prime contractor, preferred the two-month shutdown for public safety reasons as they expect 10 to 12 trucks to deliver precast materials a day. Trucks will back onto the site.
The company will also connect to utility lines on the street, but hopes to complete some of this work in the same time frame. There is, however, an additional approximately four week road closure on First Avenue required for this work.
Already, the sidewalks in parts of the area are already closed to the public, as well as some parking spaces, and will continue to be so next year.
Gorder said they worked out many other details regarding the city’s right-of-way and the many public and private utility lines that run along South Broadway and First Avenue.
Both parties have also agreed that the company will pay for the replacement of the old clay tile sanitary sewer line along the South Broadway block as the footings of the new office building will be 15 feet deep and could endanger the lines. A new PVC pipe will replace the old tile.
Gorder said that in other downtown projects, previous builders have mostly worked within their property lines to install the majority of precast elements and only close off the street for the last pieces.
He said they wanted to be consistent with what had been agreed with other developers and contractors.
The interior and exterior renovation of the Bell Bank building is expected to be completed in fall 2023.
Readers can contact Forum reporter Barry Amundson at [email protected] or 701-451-5665.