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Fargo's 40th Avenue South prime expansion candidate

One of Fargo's fastest growing areas will have a four-lane road running through it by this time next year if the city accepts a consultant's recommendation.

One of Fargo's fastest growing areas will have a four-lane road running through it by this time next year if the city accepts a consultant's recommendation.

Winnipeg-based ND LEA Engineers and Planners Inc. recently completed a study of the 40th Avenue South corridor between 45th Street in Fargo and 14th Street West in West Fargo.

The daily traffic count on 40th Avenue South just west of 45th Street is projected to rise from 2,425 vehicles per day this year to 17,100 vehicles per day by 2030, according to the Metropolitan Council of Governments.

"The road definitely needs to have more capacity than it has today," said Jeremy Gorden, Fargo traffic engineer.

The Fargo Planning Commission will receive the consultant's study next week and forward its recommendation to the City Commission, Fargo Planning Director Jim Gilmour said.


The study suggests a four-lane road with left-turn lanes and a 21-foot median.

Fargo hopes to tackle a half-mile section of the corridor next summer. The city plans to widen 40th Avenue South to four lanes from 45th Street west to Cass County Drain 27, also known as Rose Coulee.

Development is booming in that area. Hornbacher's plans to open a 65,000-square-foot grocery store next spring at 4151 45th St. S. The store will connect to a bank building and retail center. Directly to the north, dozens of new homes are under construction in Osgood Farms.

"I definitely think the growth out there warrants the improvements," Osgood developer Kevin Christianson said.

Fargo has no plans to change 40th Avenue South in the mostly residential area east of 45th Street. Traffic signals will be installed next year at 40th Avenue South and 42nd Street at the request of residents.

Gorden said the corridor study should have happened prior to development.

"But development happened so fast, we kind of got behind the 8-ball," he said.

As a result, the city has only 100 feet of right of way in some areas along the road, said Richard Tebinka, project manager for ND LEA. That leaves less room on the boulevard for sidewalks, bike paths, signs and power lines.


"It probably points to the fact that, on our arterial roads, more of them will need to have 200 feet of right of way," Gilmour said.

The 40th Avenue project, estimated to cost $1.7 million, also will include replacing the Drain 27 bridge. The city will maintain access for residents in Osgood Farms, Gorden said.

The consultant's study suggests Fargo and West Fargo continue to widen 40th Avenue South as traffic volumes demand. The traffic count just west of Sheyenne Street is projected to rise from 1,800 to 11,300 vehicles per day over the next 25 years, said Brian Gibson, MetroCOG transportation planner.

With growth expected to continue in southwest Fargo, the city plans to widen 45th Street to at least four lanes between 32nd Avenue and 52nd Avenue in 2009.

The intersection of 40th Avenue and 45th Street will get temporary traffic signals when construction starts on 40th Avenue in May and permanent signals in 2009, Gorden said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528

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