Look Out Drivers: Fargo’s 2017 Construction Season Gets an Early Start

Favorable weather conditions is allowing work on 32nd Ave South to begin next week.

FARGO, N.D. — The dreaded construction season is making an early comeback this year.

City workers said orange cones could go up as soon as Monday.

Remember 2016’s road construction on 13th Ave South?

A new project in 2017 could look similar.

City workers say if 32nd Ave South by Interstate 29 is on your work commute, you might want to add an extra five or 10 minutes to your travel time.

Because of a warmer than average winter, they say lanes will close next week.

“Down to one lane each direction,” added Jeremy Gordon, a Fargo transportation engineer.

But city engineers say the surrounding roads will better handle the surge in traffic.

“The good thing is the network down there does have quite a bit of capacity, 42nd Street is a five lane road, 45th Street is a six lane road,” Gordon said. “We’re pretty confident that we’re going to be able to get through this without too much pain.”

This could impact traffic to Essentia Health, but when it comes to ambulance traffic, they say it’s under control.

“Any time we’re affecting a road near a hospital, we do get a little bit concerned, but we have been working with them in a number of meetings,” said Gordon. “I think we’re doing pretty good on that front. I think Essentia’s doing the best they can too to inform their patients.”

There’s a few other projects planned this season.

A stretch of Broadway will be closed for reconstruction between 12th and 19th Ave North.

They say the road here is more than 60 years old.

Traffic here will be detoured, but this shouldn’t affect class at Washington Elementary which is typically accessed by the affected stretch of road.

“If we’re working near a school, we delay the start until school is out and we make sure those areas are complete before school starts again,” said Tom Knakmuhs, a Fargo division engineer.

A two mile stretch of 19th Ave North will be closed to add more lanes, but traffic impact will be low since it’s an industrial area.

But even though traffic may get rough down at 32nd Ave South, engineers say it’s all worth it.

“The traffic projections are really quite a bit more than they were 20 years ago,” explained Gordon.

For a digital map of all the city’s 2017 road construction projects, click here.

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