City of Fargo Celebrates Completion of Phase One of Main Avenue Makeover
Built in the 1950's, Main Avenue is one of the oldest roads in Fargo
FARGO, N.D. — The city of Fargo is celebrating a major change in what locals call the SoMa neighborhood.
That’s the area South of Main Avenue.
It was recently gutted and reconstructed as part one of the Main Avenue Makeover project.
“The biggest improvements are the infrastructure improvements that the drainage — some of the original infrastructure underneath the road was 60 to 70 years old,” said NDDOT Assistant District Engineer Joe Peyerl.
More than just focusing on better traffic flow for drivers, this phase of the two–year project focused heavily on being pedestrian–friendly.
“Safety is a big thing. You know, the intersection at 2nd Street was probably six lanes wide, and it was very difficult for pedestrians to get across safely. Now, with the roundabout down there, there’s a pedestrian island in the middle, and it’s only two lanes wide, so it’s very safe for pedestrians,” said Peyerl.
It took city engineers nearly four years to develop a plan for the area.
What they came up with includes wider sidewalks, benches and bike racks, as well as a completely new roundabout at 2nd Street South and Main Avenue.
“It is amazing for it to be done and over with. It was a long time coming and we’re so glad that they got it done, and done early as well,” said Wimmer’s Diamonds owner Aaron Wimmer.
Local business owners like Wimmer say the area being under construction for the past six months hasn’t been easy, but it’s well worth it.
“Just the lack of business was certainly a challenge in getting people to come to the — come into the store and come into these shops along Main Avenue here in the neighborhood. People just generally like to avoid construction at all costs during — especially road construction time, so it’s nice to have everything back open again, and we’re looking forward to Phase 2 starting and ending as well,” he said.
The second phase of the makeover is expected to start in the spring.
It’ll completely reconstruct the area between Broadway and University Drive North, adding an additional lane for drivers moving northbound.
The first phase of the two–year project was completed last Wednesday, three weeks ahead of schedule.