During times of high water, the bridge was not able to withstand water levels and has flooded, resulting in closures to traffic and most notable, restricting emergency services. The bridge has closed due to flooding in 2009 and 2011. The result of the bridge closures has directly impacted the safety of residents north of Valley City.
KLJ’s design included a new bridge and roadway realignment four feet higher than the existing bridge. The design also widened the bridge to 45 feet which included a shared-use pedestrian path along the roadway to address additional safety concerns. The shared-use pedestrian path is separated by a concrete barrier, providing a safe pathway to protect the welfare of non-motorized users. The new bridge and alignment required right-of-way and land acquisition services to maintain access to the crossing during construction. KLJ worked closely with landowners and BNSF Railway to develop multiple alternatives and negotiate the new alignment within the project site. Alignment alternatives were provided to private landowners to minimize potential impact to their property.
Emergency services now have a reliable route to access residents north of the Sheyenne River, even during flood events. Prior to the new bridge, alternate routes around the bridge were a minimum of 35 miles away and could have dangerous ramifications if emergency services could not reach residents in a timely manner. The shared-use pedestrian path allows now protects pedestrians and cyclists from vehicles and allows Barnes County to potentially connect to recreation properties north of Valley City. The new bridge, open for use in August 2012, protected and provided safety and welfare to Valley City residents and critical public infrastructure from the effects of flooding. North Valley Bridge was an American Council of Engineering Companies award winner in North Dakota (ND/ACEC). The award recognizes uniqueness and/or innovative applications, future value to the engineering profession and perception by the public, social, economic, and sustainable development considerations, complexity, and successful fulfillment of client/owner's needs.