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Sorlie Bridge to see construction in 2017

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At Tuesday's Grand Forks city council meeting, city officials are asking council members to approve a project to revamp Demers Avenue - especially the Sorlie Bridge.

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Members say the 85-year-old Sorlie Bridge needs to either be rehabbed or replaced.

An upgrade or replacement of the Sorlie bridge is estimated to cost around $25 million.

Right now council members say they're leaning toward rehabbing the bridge.

Rehabilitation could mean anything from raising the elevation of the Sorlie bridge to simply repairing paint, sidewalks and the steel structure - according to city engineers. Raising the bridge would likely close it for an entire summer, while minimal repairs would probably just slow traffic with some lane closures.

Engineers say one benefit for raising the Sorlie bridge would be reducing the need to close it during floods.

Officials say the city would pay about 10 percent of the project.

While it's unclear when members will make a decision on rehabbing or replacing the Sorlie Bridge, construction is expected to start 2017.

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