Road Project Proposal for Downtown Fargo Could be a Commuter Headache

If approved, the $5 million Main Avenue project would start next year

FARGO, N.D. — City workers are proposing a road project which has the capacity to cause major traffic problems in downtown Fargo.

If approved, the $5 million Main Avenue project would start next year.

It’s one of the oldest stretches of road in Fargo.

Built in the 1950’s, pavement and underground utilities are starting to deteriorate more than half a century later.

Lanes on Main Avenue would close all the way from 2nd Street to University Drive, but this is only the first half.

Tentatively scheduled for 2020, Main will close again from University to 25th Street.

Altogether, both projects would cost roughly $10 million.

No additional lanes will be added, but they brought up several new ideas for the road at a public meeting.

“On street off-beat parking,” said Richard Lane with SRF North Dakota Operations. “What does that mean? That means you convert the inside driving lane, the curb lane, to parking at times when the traffic volumes are much low.”

Lane says this is already being done in Minneapolis.

But others don’t want off-beat parking to come to Fargo.

“I would really urge that you not do the off-beat parking,” said one person. “Of experience, that is a hazard if just one car doesn’t move in time.”

City workers say they will reduce impact to businesses by giving designated space to pedestrians throughout construction.

“Pedestrian access is going to be very important throughout construction,” said Lane. “That’s really the lifeline for a lot of businesses that are there and we recognize that.”

They’re also thinking about adding more green space to medians on Main.

The project has not been approved yet, but if it does, city engineers say 80 percent will be federally funded.

Ten percent by the state and the other 10 by city funds.

“The 80-10-10 split is for the roadway and the storm sewer,” said Jeremy Gorden, with the city of Fargo. “For the water main and the sanitary sewer, that’s all local funds.”

Another public meeting is set for some time in the middle of summer before they finish the approval process.

Fargo city workers want to hear your thoughts on the proposed project.

To find out how you can give your input, click here.

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