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25th Street project discussed: Neighbors worried about safety, noise

Neighbors in the area of Fargo's 25th Street and Interstate 94 are concerned they will lose safety and noise control so that others can gain an easier commute.

Graphic: 25th Street construction

Neighbors in the area of Fargo's 25th Street and Interstate 94 are concerned they will lose safety and noise control so that others can gain an easier commute.

About 40 residents filled the Lewis and Clark Elementary School cafeteria Tuesday evening to discuss a proposal by the city to widen 25th Street from 17th Avenue to 24th Avenue South.

The project would add a lane in both directions to 25th Street, making it six lanes wide with turn lanes at each of the five traffic-light-controlled intersections.

Project manager Richard Gunderson of Houston Engineering said the project would result in a better level of service on 25th Street. He said the level of service is defined by how easily traffic flows through an area.

Currently, the level of service in that area is very poor, he said, and it is expected to get worse in the next 20 years.


Jeff Lansik with Houston Engineering said installment of an eastbound slip ramp at Interstate 94 is being considered to also help ease traffic.

The project would widen the Interstate 94 bridge from 81 feet to 130 feet.

The project would cause overhead power lines to be relocated and some of the existing walking path locations would be changed from the east or west sides.

Lansik said 11-foot lanes have been proposed in most areas to avoid the loss of trees that currently line the boulevard. He said most trees would be relocated along the street or re-planted.

"We would like to maintain as many of the large trees as possible," Lansink said.

Officials said a noise study will need to be done to examine the impact of an expanded 25th Street, which would move the curb line about 6 feet closer to a neighborhood of condominiums.

Julie Mayer, who lives in Prairie Wood Crossing, said noise and vibration from the cars on 25th is already a concern.

Connie Nelson said one of her biggest concerns is pedestrian safety, especially with students who walk to Fargo South High School or Lewis and Clark Elementary School. Nelson said the six-lane barrier from east to west is a safety concern.


"I've been against the project for a long time," Nelson said.

The project is estimated to cost $8 million to $9 million. Fargo Traffic Engineer Jeremy Gorden said the city would apply for federal urban funding to pay for 81 percent of the project and the city would pay for 19 percent.

"At this point, the city of Fargo is currently proposing no special assessments to single-family housing," Gorden said.

Houston Engineering will continue to study environmental impacts of the project, and another public meeting will be held in March 2012.

Gunderson said residents' comments are needed to help identify areas of concern for each alternative.

Final plans of the project are scheduled to be completed in 2013, with construction to begin in 2014 if funding is approved.

Residents can still comment on the project by e-mailing rgunderson@houstoneng.com or jgorden@cityoffargo.com .

Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530

As the West Fargo editor, Wendy Reuer covers all things West Fargo for The Forum and oversees the production of the weekly Pioneer.
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