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Dickinson's Fisher Industries nears completion of $393M Nev. interstate

Above, Fisher Industries of Dickinson gets underway with construction of the Interstate 580 Galena Creek Bridge in Nevada in 2008. Below, Fisher Industries wrapped up construction of the bridge, which is 1,722 feet long and 300 feet tall. It is part of a $393 million, eight-mile extension of I-580 between Reno, Nev., and Carson City, Nev.

Fisher Industries of Dickinson is near completion of the Interstate 580 extension, the largest project ever awarded by the Nevada Department of Transportation.

A ribbon cutting for the road is expected sometime next month for the $393 million, eight-mile extension of I-580, which includes nine bridges and the largest concrete arch bridge in the country, said Scott Magruder, spokesman for the Nevada DOT.

"We're getting close to wrapping this up, and we are in the cleanup stage now," he said. "Overall, it's all coming along well and we expect to have our goal of having an interstate highway running through the capitol completed by August."

Fisher Industries, which celebrated its 60th anniversary Friday at its Dickinson location, offered the lower of the two bids the Nevada DOT received for the interstate construction. The other company's bid was $414 million.

"This completed the interstate between Carson City, Nevada's capitol, and the city of Reno, which has a lot of commuters," Magruder said. "Completing this stretch of road has been a vision of the Nevada DOT since the '70s and '80s, and it's finally almost done."

Construction started in 2007 and Fisher Industries used between 100-150 employees to complete the project over five years, Magruder said.

Norm Bessler, project manager for Fisher Grading and Excavation in Henderson, Nev., who handled the project from Nevada, did not return calls this week.

Tommy Fisher of Dickinson, president/CEO of Fisher Industries, said most of the workforce for the construction came from the Reno area, but about 10 percent of the workers were North Dakotans.

He said a project of this magnitude was a real accomplishment.

"It will be hard to find another project bigger than that," Fisher said. "When you bid for a project like this and get it, it's really exciting. Then, you look at it on paper and work on it for five years, and it's amazing."

As with all construction projects, Magruder said there were change orders needed for the interstate construction.

But beyond those minor snags, which he said did not set the project back, Fisher Industries was able to complete the road construction within the 1,050 working days it was allotted.