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Forum staff reports, Published April 30 2009

Work starts in area of University Drive rut

Work on University Drive from 40th Avenue South to the south side of 52nd Avenue South started Wednesday, according to the North Dakota Department of Transportation.

The section of road includes the rut that led to a number of accidents in late fall, including the Dec. 10 death of 8-year-old Amanda Leininger of Fargo.

Leininger’s 15-year-old sister, Jessica, was driving her car when it collided with oncoming traffic after entering a rut where the southbound lane meets the shoulder.

For the first few weeks of construction, work will not be on the road itself and should not affect traffic, the release said. Closer to the Rose Coulee, however, motorists will be detoured on to a bypass so a new structure can be built. Removal of the pedestrian/bike path will also begin at this time.

Flaggers will work throughout the process directing traffic.

When the project wraps up Oct. 24, the stretch will be expanded from two lanes to five. The road bed will also be raised 2 to 3 feet, which could serve as a dike in the future.

The estimated cost for the project is $15 million.