Moorhead Road Construction Will Be Completed Next Year After 4 Years Of Delay

Updated: Mar 03, 2022

The $51 million Moorhead road construction railroad underpass project is one of the few remaining beehives of construction activity in the metro this autumn.

The $51 million Moorhead road construction railroad underpass project is one of the few remaining beehives of construction activity in the metro this autumn.

The autumn construction focuses on the Main Avenue section and the final of three railroad bridges – the project's finish.

According to the Moorhead road construction contract paid to the primary contractor, Ames Construction Co., about 82 percent of the project is done.

Last week, Ames workers installed five giant 6-foot-tall beams on part of the Burlington Northern railroad bridge above Main Avenue. After the last five beams are installed, the bridge's concrete deck can be poured.

Meanwhile, retaining walls along Main Avenue from the Cullen Hockey Center to the railroad bridge is being finished.

Main Avenue and 21st Street continue to get four lanes of concrete. When the project is done and opens to traffic next spring or early summer, just minor road repairs will be required beneath the last train bridge.

Trowbridge said Burlington Northern personnel will build track when the concrete bridge deck is constructed and hardened later this month or early November.

The plan is to have trains operating over the new bridge by Nov. 10, Trowbridge said, allowing engineers to remove the temporary BN track slightly off to the side and across Main Avenue. After that, the final 17 feet of earth required for clearance under the Main Avenue bridge will be dug.

After the bridge is finished, some night excavation is likely. The 24-hour work includes limits to reduce noise for nearby homes, some of whom have recently been shielded by giant sheets of plastic.

Trowbridge said roughly 204,000 cubic yards of earth have been removed, or about 70% of the job.

Winter construction will finish the retaining walls, leaving just road work in the spring.

The massive expanse of the building project at Moorhead High School shows how difficult and intensive the work has been over the last four years.

When questioned about the project's ups and downs, Trowbridge just grins.

The Red River Valley's unstable soils have been a source of concern. In reality, Ames Construction has filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming they failed to give proper soil data, causing delays and additional labor.

Trowbridge said the problem is still being evaluated. He indicated they may reach a deal or file a lawsuit.

Massive steel retaining walls had to be dug into the earth to keep the temporary Burlington Northern line safe.

Residents can see the large retaining walls and three bridges that demonstrate how the two railways — the Burlington Northern and the Otter Tail Valley Railroad — will have their new routes through the neighborhood.

Work on the other two bridges — one for BN rail and the other for the Otter Tail line — was finished this summer, with trains currently operating on the new Otter Tail bridge and line.

Trowbridge claimed the BN operates 8–10 trains daily in the region, whereas the Otter Tail runs 1–2 trains daily during harvest.

Crews have been working on the margins of the project, laying concrete, planting grass, and repairing sidewalks.

There will be no more waiting for trains next year, merely for the signal light at the foot of the moorhead underpass project where Main Avenue and 21st Street meet.

Moorhead Next Project-Hwy 10/75

Project info

The MnDOT plans to restore Hwy10/75 in downtown Moorhead in 2025.

  • Rebuild Hwys 10 and 75
  • Utility swap
  • Sidewalk upgrades
  • Bicycle and ADA improvements
  • Upgraded sign
  • Sewer upgrade
  • Effects of (detours, closures & delays)
  • Effects on schools and businesses

Study plan

Visit the MetroCOG project website to read more about the corridor study done by Metro COG, MnDOT, the City of Moorhead, and other local organizations.

This research aimed at balancing business access with motorized and non-motorized traffic. It also addressed the improvements on Main Avenue in Fargo and the impact on traffic crossing the Red River in Moorhead. Community and stakeholder participation shaped future corridor visions.

What Is Moorhead Known For?

In fact, Moorhead Area Public Schools, MSU Moorhead, and Concordia College are the city's top three employers. Moorhead is home to important business, manufacturing, and distribution sectors.


Moorhead road construction contractors you can rely on for all of your remodeling and construction requirements.