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Road projects planned to accommodate Spiritwood plants

JAMESTOWN — Road improvements needed to accommodate the industrial plants planned for Spiritwood Township may amount to a total of about $14 million, according to Casey Bradley, Stutsman County auditor and chief operating officer.

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Current plans have all the costs paid as special assessments by the industries building plants in the township.

The road work is being planned in conjunction with CHS Inc. and Great River Energy, which will be the two principal owners of property within the special assessment districts.

CHS plans construction of a $1.5 billion nitrogen fertilizer plant in Spiritwood Township. A final announcement on the project is anticipated in early 2014. GRE constructed a $350 million coal-fired generating plant in Spiritwood and plans to bring the plant online in late 2014. GRE is also starting construction on an ethanol plant at the location of its Spiritwood Station.

“When it is all said and done, it will all be county roads,” Bradley said. “It will add about 2 miles of new road and make improvements to about three miles.”

Plans call for 1½ miles of County Road 62 north of the Interstate 94 to be widened and finished with a concrete surface. This part of the project may receive federal highway money as a special project related to economic development, Bradley said. Any matching money necessary, or any costs not covered by the federal funds, would be paid through special assessments by the companies involved.

A new road would then connect County Road 62 to the planned CHS nitrogen plant site. New roads on the south and west sides of the area are also planned.

“The intention is for all but the (County Road) 62 improvements to go to bid in February with the completion in August,” Bradley said.

Developing specifications and bid information may take longer if federal highway aid funds are involved in the County Road 62 portion of the project.

Stutsman County has already improved County Road 40, more commonly known as Old Highway 10, between Jamestown and Spiritwood, according to Stutsman County Commissioner Dave Schwartz.

“Some of that cost was done with private donations,” Schwartz said. “The paving was completed in November, and we managed to get the striping done before the winter.”

Schwartz said the six miles from Jamestown to Spiritwood were paved at a cost of about $1.9 million. The cost was defrayed by a $250,000 donation by GRE, $100,000 by Gayne Gasal, $45,000 by Cargill Malt, $5,000 from Kenny Fry and $30,000 from Spiritwood Township.

“I don’t know any other project done with such cooperation from businesses and residents,” Schwartz said.