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It’s been a long time coming, but a project to replace the retaining wall near City Hall and the Minot Police Department is one step closer to reality.
The project will be advertised for bids this week. City Engineer Lance Meyer anticipates the project’s cost to come in around $6 million. Bids will be opened on Oct. 19, and the project will be awarded at the Nov. 15 City Council meeting.
In addition to replacing the wall, the project also includes replacing a water main that runs through the middle of the parking lot near the Police Department and repaving the lot.
“The contractor should get started in April or May of 2022,” Meyer said. “There’s a lot of work to do removing the existing materials, and then they can start driving support piles into the ground before they install the walls. It will take until fall to complete, and then we’ll repave the parking lot.”
Meyer said water is penetrating behind the wall, washing away the hill underneath.
“Eventually, it gets hollow, loses its stability and collapses,” Meyer said. “Every time it rains, the Police Department calls Public Works to come and sweep up sand that comes from underneath the wall.”
The project has been discussed in earnest for the past few years, but Meyer said the discussion has been happening for decades.
“We found a memo from the early or mid-1990s when they started talking about replacing this wall,” he said. “It’s been a known issue for years, but other projects took priority. But it’s time to replace it. It’s a safety concern.”
Crews next spring will remove the existing materials, then drive support piles into the ground and attach the new concrete wall sections. The process will be similar to a project that installed a new retaining wall a few years ago on Hillcrest Drive in northeast Minot.
“As this project gets going, it’s going to be a pretty interesting process to watch,” Meyer said.