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Motorists taking alternative routes after traffic snarl

Traffic on South University Drive, snarled Monday by a construction project, the first day of school and a lack of detours, was reported much lighter Tuesday.

Traffic on South University Drive, snarled Monday by a construction project, the first day of school and a lack of detours, was reported much lighter Tuesday.

"They said traffic is probably cut by about 80 percent this morning," said Duane Baumgart, a general superintendent for Master Construction, the project's contractor. "I suppose people smartened up."

Drivers apparently were detouring to Fifth and 25th streets; Baumgart said he noticed traffic was heavier on the latter. "They saw that they were going to sit here in a congested area and they were taking alternate routes," he said.

That was quite a change from Monday, when installation of a new south-side relief storm sewer closed the intersection of 18th Avenue and University. With school opening that same day, parents bringing kids to Nativity School faced delays of up to an hour getting through the construction zone.

Despite that heavier traffic on alternate routes, Fargo police are taking no extra enforcement measures, Sgt. Wayne Jorgenson said.

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"Our officers are encouraged to spend as much time as they can in the detour areas to facilitate traffic flow," he said. But radar patrols have not been stepped up, nor have extra officers been called in.

"We're just using our existing staff and deploying them in a way that would provide as much help as we can during peak traffic times," Jorgenson said.

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