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Demers Avenue Project

Demers Avenue Project

The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT), in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration and the city of Grand Forks, are proposing two projects in the heart of Grand Forks. The projects are on 5th Street and Demers Avenue which make up the US Highway 2 Business Loop. The business loop connects downtown Grand Forks to US Highway 2 (Gateway Drive).

Demers Avenue Project

The proposed project will start at the 6th Street intersection and end at the Sorlie Bridge. Two strategy options are being considered, one being a mill and overlay, which would involve milling off a portion of the existing bituminous pavement and replacing it with new bituminous pavement, while the other option is to reconstruct Demers Ave. Reconstruction would involve removing everything within the roadway corridor, including the sidewalk, and replacing it.

Each option offers its own advantages and disadvantages. Milling and overlaying Demers Avenue is a less expensive option and the pavement work can be completed in 1-2 weeks, but it doesn’t allow for any layout changes and only has a design life of 10 years. Reconstruction on the other hand would allow for layout changes and has a design life of 30 years, but is more expensive and would take 6 months or more to complete. Some of the potential layout changes that could be done with reconstruction are curb extensions, bicycle lanes, wider sidewalks, and removing parking. There will be an opportunity with either option to include aesthetic improvements such as park benches, planters, landscaping, etc.

Through preliminary meetings with various agencies and groups, three alternatives for Demers Ave have been developed. These alternatives are in no way finalized and will be changed based off of comments received through the completion of the public input meeting tentatively scheduled for the Fall of 2017. Please click on the alternative to review the corresponding design layout.

Alternative 1 - Mill and Overlay

This alternative would remove and replace some of the existing pavement as well as replacing any sidewalk curb ramps that don’t meet current standards.

Alternative 2 – Reconstruction A

This reconstruction alternative has a very similar layout to the existing Demers Ave, with a couple exceptions. One, curb extensions would be placed at the 3rd St, 4th St, and 5th St intersections and two, because of the curb extensions the right turn lanes at each intersection would be eliminated.

Alternative 3 – Reconstruction B

This reconstruction alternative would include the curb extensions and elimination of right turn lanes like Alternative 2, but would also include adding bicycle lanes on Demers Ave.

5th Street Project

The project strategy for 5th Street will be to mill and overlay that roadway. As discussed under Demers Ave, that will involve milling off some of the existing bituminous pavement and replacing it with new asphalt pavement as well as replacing any sidewalk curb ramps that don’t meet current standards.

Project Timeline

  • April – May 2017
    • Individual/Small Group Stakeholder Meetings
  • May – June 2017
    • Develop/Draw Alternatives
  • July 2017
    • Group Stakeholder Meeting – Review & refine alternatives that are developed from the input of individual and small group stakeholder meetings.
  • Fall 2017
    1. Public Input Meeting – Present refined alternatives to general public for comments.
    2. After the public meeting comment period has ended, a document detailing each alternative as well as the comments received will be circulated for a formal vote from the Grand Forks City Council. The document will then go the NDDOT Deputy Director of Engineering for final approval.
  • Fall 2017 – Fall 2018
    • Environmental Documentation & Project Design
  • November 2018
    • Tentative Project Bid Date (Subject to Funding Availability)
  • Summer 2019
    • Project Construction (Subject to Funding Availability)


The projects will be federal aid eligible, which covers approximately 80% of the project costs, with the remaining 20% being shared by the State of North Dakota and the City of Grand Forks. An allotment, based on the overall project cost, will be provided to include aesthetic improvements elected by the city. Any cost for aesthetic improvements beyond the allowed allotment as well as any city utility work will have to be paid for with 100% city funds.


If you have any questions or wish to comment on the projects, please call Michael Wilz at 701-328-4457 or email him at mwilz@nd.gov.