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Work continues on the stretch of 47th Ave. S. just west of S. Washington St. Tuesday afternoon. Photo by Kile Brewer/Grand Forks Herald

47th Avenue South to reopen when South Middle School starts

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Construction on 47th Avenue South in Grand Forks is scheduled to wrap up just in time for the start of the school year, a city official said.

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The road from South Washington Street to South Middle School has been shut down for construction most of the summer, but Principal Engineer Matt Yavarow said it should be brought on line by the first day of school on Sept. 2.

“Currently it is a little behind schedule with the contractors working hard to make sure it’s open for school,” he said.

The $1.1 million project was undertaken to meet increased traffic stemming from growth in the south end of town and will add a third lane to the road as well as a storm sewer, curb and gutter, according to city documents.

Workers should have most of the concrete laid by the end of the week, Yavarow said, and then they will begin posting signs, painting road stripes, installing traffic lights and laying the bike path.

In the meantime, the middle school, which is conducting registration this week and next, is directing people to use South 20th Street and South Columbia Road to reach the building.

Tracy Jentz, spokeswoman for Grand Forks Public Schools, said that construction has not been interfering with registration.

Yavarow also said that construction on South Washington Street near the school is on track to be completed by Friday or by early next week, depending on the weather.

Elsewhere in the city, the roundabout at 24th Avenue South and South 34th Street near Columbia Mall was opened to traffic recently, which Yavarow said he hopes will reduce traffic congestion for college students living in nearby apartments. Classes at UND commence Aug. 25.

Meanwhile, for those students commuting from out of town, construction on Interstate 29 is expected to last a couple more months. Construction between Buxton, N.D., and Thompson, N.D., where traffic is down to a single lane in either direction, is expected to continue into fall, said Jamie Olson of the state Department of Transportation. She said the project should be done by the end of October at the latest.

Crews are working on the northbound lanes, and have just begun paving, she said.

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