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South University section going one lane for time

Beginning Tuesday at 8:30 a.m., University Drive will be reduced to one lane at First Avenue South. The purpose of the two-week closure is to install pipe beneath the roadway. "The original plans called for University to be completely closed ...

Beginning Tuesday at 8:30 a.m., University Drive will be reduced to one lane at First Avenue South.

The purpose of the two-week closure is to install pipe beneath the roadway.

"The original plans called for University to be completely closed at First Avenue South to install the pipe," said Fargo senior engineer Rick Lane. "But due in part to our experience last week at University Drive and 18th Avenue South, we have restricted the contractor's work area to maintain one through lane the entire time they install the pipe."

Workers will begin tapering down University Drive to one lane south of Main Avenue, allowing easier access for traffic turning east or west.

Initially construction crews will close the passing lane, although which lane is open and which lane is closed will change during the two weeks.

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The closure was delayed until Tuesday morning to allow early morning traffic to travel down University Drive on the first day after the holiday weekend, although the city foresees traffic backups to be a larger problem in the afternoon.

"We recognize that traffic counts are the highest in that area between 3 and 6 o'clock every weekday afternoon," Lane said. "We would like to ask the traveling public to use patience at all times when traveling down University Drive, but especially in the afternoons."

Police will be monitoring the area Tuesday looking for potential problems with the closure. The largest expected problem will be cars backed up on University Drive and blocking traffic on Main Avenue.

"We expect the police will have a presence at University Drive and Main Avenue for the first couple of days to make sure everything continues to move smoothly," Lane said. "Although we realize this is another inconvenience in an ongoing summer of construction, we are doing everything we can to maintain access through this closure."

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