Construction of a bypass road to reconnect traffic on Cass County 17 south of Horace is expected to begin early next week.

A stipulation agreement between all parties in the FM Area Diversion Project lawsuit was presented to the federal judge for approval earlier this week. U.S. District Court Judge John A. Tunheim approved a stipulated order allowing the construction of the bypass road to reconnect traffic on Cass County 17 south of Horace.

Cass County 17 south of Horace, ND was closed earlier this summer as part of construction of the FM Area Diversion Project. The road closure resulted in a six-mile detour that impacted local residents and traffic flow from areas south and west of the Fargo-Moorhead metro area. An injunction stopping construction of the Diversion Project halted re-opening of Cass County 17. All parties agreed on the importance of getting the road opened as quickly as possible, which led to the mutually-agreeable stipulated order.

The bypass will be constructed west of the original road alignment because of the large excavation in the area. The bypass will have a gravel surface that will allow for safe passage through the winter. Construction will be completed as soon as possible, which will remove the current six-mile detour.  The bypass is temporary, and the final alignment of the road will have to be determined in the future.