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US Highway 281 Mainline and Spur - Responding to Santa Fe Track Raise

Rising water of Devils Lake triggers multiple transportation issues

Fargo, North Dakota

Devils Lake is a closed basin lake, with no natural outlet. Prolonged periods of heavy precipitation mean widespread flooding and rippling problems for the area’s infrastructure. In response to the continuing rise of Devils Lake, Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) is raising its track to provide safe and reliable rail service. In turn, the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) will reconfigure U.S. Highway 281 in two phases to accommodate this track raise.

To address the track raise, Stantec assisted NDDOT with the production of a project concept report. We are providing traffic analysis, noise analysis, biological assessment, solicitation of views, wetland delineation, and mitigation site assessment. Stakeholders include the City of Churchs Ferry, Ramsey County, Benson County, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, BNSF, and several utility companies. The final configuration of US 281 Mainline will include a new bridge on a new alignment.

The Phase 2 track raise will impact the US 281 Spur (Walker Street in Churchs Ferry), and the Phase 3 (final) track raise will impact the US 281 Spur and the US 281 Mainline Bridge.  

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