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Published September 05, 2012, 02:09 PM

Bridge Work Scheduled to Begin in the Coming Years

Over the next six years two bridges connecting Grand Forks and East Grand Forks will receive big improvements.

By: Stacie Van Dyke, WDAZ

Over the next six years two bridges connecting Grand Forks and East Grand Forks will receive big improvements.

The Kennedy bridge was built in 1963 and the Sorlie bridge was built in 1929 so engineers say it's definitely time for some repairs. Work on the Kennedy Bridge is scheduled for 2016 and the Sorlie Bridge for 2018. The upcoming projects are a response to the collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis in 2007.

The collapse was due to a design flaw, so similarly-designed bridges are now being replaced or repaired. Engineers say the repairs will likely encourage additional pedestrian and bicycle traffic, but they won't resolve any flooding issues.

Grand Forks District Engineer Les Noehre: “At this point in the process, it would be very challenging to make either bridge a dry bridge.”

The work will mean rerouting traffic. But officials say every attempt will be made to minimize down time.

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