Plans take shape for extending Veterans Boulevard into Horace

Roundabouts on current roadway in Fargo to also be addressed

Veterans Boulevard
Here's what Veterans Boulevard looked like in 2014 between 32nd Avenue South and 40th Avenue South before it was rebuilt into two lanes each direction.
Forum file photo

FARGO — It's still a few years away, but plans are being made to extend Veterans Boulevard from Fargo's 52nd Avenue South to Horace's 100th Avenue South.

Dan Farnsworth and other representatives with the Metro COG group whose planners study transportation issues in the area presented the tentative plans for the "critical connection" between the two cities to the Cass County commissioners this past week and will also make presentations to other governmental units involved.

In addition to the four-mile extension of the major roadway that will be done in phases and could take up to 10 years to complete, the group also noted a more immediate issue to address.

Analysis and public input found existing roundabouts on Veterans Boulevard between 40th Avenue South and 52nd Avenue South in Fargo don't provide sufficient space for larger vehicles, including firetrucks and ambulances, and also cause snow removal problems.

The current design can make for excessive braking and acceleration for vehicles entering and exiting the intersections, causing high crash rates, said the Metro COG report.


The majority of the crashes, 89%, were at the 40th or 44th avenue intersections.

To solve the problem, it's recommended that approach roadways be reconstructed to enhance entry and exit paths or that the roundabout be reconstructed to increase the diameter from 150 feet to 180 feet.

To prevent intersection closures, the study recommends possibly closing each approach roadway separately while construction is underway.

The suggested work would involve the roundabouts at 44th Avenue, 48th Avenue and 51st Avenue with the cost for each roundabout project estimated at about $1 million.

Troy Becker / The Forum

The Veterans Boulevard extension would follow work planned by the City of Fargo this summer to extend 45th Street South to 64th Avenue South. Work started last year on the project with some underground utility work. Also in a few months, the county will be completing a two-year project by paving a road from near the two new schools in Horace to the east and the north to connect with 45th Street at 64th Avenue.

The 45th Street project will help provide another connection to Horace as well as to the new indoor Fargo Sports Complex and Career Innovation Center or workforce academy in that area of southwest Fargo.

Veterans Boulevard would be another major arterial roadway running north and south and the Metro COG planners said public input and a study review panel suggested a straight path following a section line for the roadway instead of other options that had it meandering or following the Drain 27 canal that flows in that area.

A new road into the nearby Deer Creek neighborhood to the west of the extended Veterans Boulevard is also planned to provide another access point to those residents.


County Highway Engineer Jason Benson, who helped plan projects in that area because of county and township roads involved, said the first phase likely will be on the south end of what would be Veterans Boulevard from 88th Avenue in Horace north to 76th Avenue. It's currently a minimum maintenance road, and Benson said the Horace city commissioners are expected to discuss the issue on Feb. 22.

Next could be construction moving north on Veterans Boulevard from 76th Avenue to 64th Avenue.

The entire project will be expensive, estimated at $42 million to $46 million, but if work is done in phases, costs could be spread over a number of years and involve state and federal aid funding.

The work will likely coincide with the transformation of the overpass on 64th Avenue to be completed this summer to a full interchange planned by the state with access to Interstate 29 in 2025. Down the road, the state is also planning an interchange on 76th Avenue.

County Commissioner Chad Peterson said with all of the growth in the area some of the work may proceed faster than the five to 10 year period.

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