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The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) and City of Fargo will begin reconstructing Main Avenue from Red River Bridge to Broadway this year. In 2020, the second-year of reconstruction work will improve Main Avenue between Broadway to University Drive in downtown Fargo.

First Traffic Impacts: Main Avenue full road closure west of 2nd St S intersection

Starting, Monday, April 15, crews will close the first section of Main Avenue roadway to through traffic between 2nd Street South and 4th Street South. Crews will begin the first blocks of storm sewer installation.
Drivers should plan to use the posted detour route to cross the Red River into Moorhead until project work is complete in October. The posted detour route is Northern Pacific (NP) Avenue between 8th Street and 2nd Street South.

After 9 a.m. on Monday when traffic control is in place, initially, drivers can expect:

  • Main Avenue and 4th Street South intersection will remain open
  • Local access will be maintained on Main Avenue to all businesses east of 4th Street South intersection up to the full road closure west of 2nd Street South intersection
  • 2nd Street South south of Main Avenue remains closed to all traffic until the flood mitigation project is complete in July

Motorists should be aware of flood related closures that may affect detour route to cross the Red River. The 1st Avenue North bridge and 12th Avenue bridge will reopen once specific Red River elevations are reached in the coming weeks. City of Fargo traffic engineers will be monitoring the intersection of NP and 2nd Street South to make any necessary traffic control changes to assist drivers on the detour route.

Over the next weeks, the traffic control on Main Avenue will move further west. Drivers can anticipate these traffic impacts in this order or within a few days:

  • Main Avenue between 2nd Street South and 4th Street South will fully close to through traffic. Local resident access will be maintained by temporary access roads across Main Avenue through the Gateway Center parking lot. In this stretch, Main Avenue is slated to reopen to local traffic by late-July. Construction of the 2nd Street South roundabout will not allow through traffic to use Main Avenue until work is complete at the intersection in October.
  • Main Avenue and 4th Street South intersection will fully close to all directions of traffic. Slated to reopen to traffic late-June.

Project teams are coordinating efforts with the City of Moorhead’s Center Avenue reconstruction work, which will turn Center to two-lanes in each direction from 8th Street North to Red River and work is slated to begin in early May. During the Center Avenue bridge closure, Main Avenue traffic will be diverted to the 1st Avenue North Red River crossing.

“Our crews will strive to maintain safe access for those living, working, shopping and visiting as well as crews completing the necessary reconstruction work,” said Joe Peyerl, Assistant District Engineer for NDDOT Fargo District. “Work will be phased to help balance congestion around the times of full road closures on Main Avenue for vehicles, deliveries and transit users.”

Crews are planning to work east to west toward Broadway. Although the contractor can work on roadway phases concurrently, there are a few exceptions to the reconstruction phasing:

  • Broadway and 4th Street South intersections will not be closed at the same time
  • 2nd Street South and Main Avenue intersection work will be maintained westbound to northbound, and southbound to eastbound on 2nd Street South until early August
  • Pedestrian access to all businesses along Main Avenue will be provided and sidewalk work will not begin until after the roadway is complete. Temporary on-road delineated paths will be used by pedestrians during the sidewalk work.

“Feedback from property owners did change the scope of work to be spread over two construction seasons instead trying to accomplish the project all in 2019,” said Jeremy Gorden, Transportation Division Engineer for the City of Fargo. “Main Avenue is not just a corridor to use to get to point A to B, its home to a vibrant downtown business and residential areas.”

The project will improve 50 – 60-year-old underground infrastructure, an aging driving surface and lessen the pedestrian system gaps through the downtown corridor. The 2019 project work from the Red River through Broadway includes:

  • Upgrade existing water main, sanitary sewer system and storm sewer
  • Construction roundabout at the 2nd Street intersection
  • Replace roadway pavement, traffic signals, street lighting and landscaping features
  • Widen pedestrian facilities on both sides of Main Avenue, with new pedestrian crossings
  • Additional on-street parking

The two-year makeover of Main Avenue in downtown Fargo is a joint project between the City of Fargo and NDDOT to transform this gateway into a safe, accessible and beautiful passageway to and through the heart of Fargo.

“A key feature of the reconstruction is a roundabout at a critical intersection with a history of crashes and a bottleneck for traffic. The double-lane roundabout will accommodate vehicles and trucks of all sizes and help ease traffic congestion as traffic flows at a steady pace through the intersection and we remove all the different traffic movement currently happening at 2nd Street,” shared Gorden.

When the roadway is complete in fall of 2020, a hybrid design consisting of a 3-lane alternative from 2nd Street to 9th Street, transitioning to a 4-lane section between 9th Street and 11th Street, and a 5-lane section west of 11th Street.

The public and area businesses will have the opportunity to ask questions to project engineers and contractor:

  • Monday, April 15 at 4 – 6 p.m. – A public information meeting will be held at Depot (701 Main Avenue, Fargo) to share the slated project schedule. Formal presentations will be held at 4:30 and 5:30 p.m.
  • Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. – Noon – Ongoing public information meetings will be held bi-weekly. The first meeting date is Thursday April 25 at the Depot.

Peyerl shared, “the work zone will create traffic impact for everyone — not just businesses and commuters, also for city departments. We are coordinating efforts across many groups to work as efficiently as we can together. Please plan ahead and think about routes based on your travel time.”

NDDOT Fargo District oversees construction and maintenance of state highways in Cass, Traill, Richland, Sargent, Ransom, and Steele counties. Main Avenue, or U.S. Highway 10, runs for eight miles from I-94 at Exit 343 to the Red River where it crosses a bridge to Moorhead.

The cost of construction is estimated to be $10 million for 2019 project work. Funding for the project will consist of a combination of federal, state and local assessments.
NDDOT and City of Fargo urges motorists to always be attentive, drive with caution and never enter a road blocked with barriers or cones stating, “road closed.”