Moorhead railroad underpass to open to traffic on Friday
City leaders hold a ribbon cutting and party to celebrate the near completion of the project
MOORHEAD, Minn. (KVRR) – After decades of planning and five years of construction, the new underpass in Moorhead will open to traffic on Friday.
We spoke to city officials and one business owner hoping for a return to normal in the area.
The ribbon is cut on the new $51 million railroad underpass at Main and 20th and 21st Streets in Moorhead.
Officials say it took a team effort for this to happen, and they’re grateful for the patience from the community.
“I’m so thrilled how many people came out to celebrate this successful project that took a really long time to build in the city of Moorhead,” said Mayor Shelly Carlson, Moorhead.
They battled through issues like COVID and unstable soil during construction, but the city feels this will be a game changer for everyone.
“I know now if someone calls 911 on the southside, our law enforcement, our fire department, our ambulance can get there and they’re not going to have to waste precious seconds or minutes at a train,” said Carlson.
“Just daily commutes for people, 20,000 vehicles a day will pass through this intersection. Everyone of those will benefit from not having to wait for a train,” said Bob Zimmerman, City Engineer of Moorhead.
Some people and businesses near the construction zone have suffered more than others.
“The people who’ve had the most patience are the individuals that live with this project in their backyard. They have shouldered this construction for the last four years,” said Carlson.
“Overall, it’s just been, are we going to make it? You know when they were piledriving and the building is shaking and you have things falling off the wall, it’s ‘oh my gosh, are we going to collapse?'” said Jessica Malvin, Co-owner, The Freez.
Jessica Malvin became a co-owner of The Freez the first year of construction.
It’s right by the underpass and it’s been an uphill battle.
“The start of the construction, then you had Covid during COVID we had our massive break in that was two years ago. And then from there supply change issues, price increases,” said Malvin.
She says that after everything they’ve been through over the last several years, the opening of the underpass feels like a light at the end of the tunnel.
“For us, it’s our happy place. It’s our joy. It’s our love. It’s truly a labor of love to be here and to have this. It’s a lot of hard work and it’s just we wanted to see it through; we wanted to see it happen,” said Malvin.