Big road projects coming to Dickinson
Between planned North Dakota Department of Transportation projects and those suggested by Kadrmas, Lee and Jackson in "Dickinson 2035: Roadmap to the Future," the city is most likely in for a lot of road construction in the near future.
NDDOT plans to pave and extend 10th Avenue West in northwest Dickinson to provide better access to houses and apartments in that area. It is also planning to repave a portion of 12th Street West and all of Interstate 94 Business Loop, also known as Villard Street.
"It'll go from the eastern interstate exchange all the way to the western interstate exchange," City Administrator Shawn Kessel said. "It's a big project.
The work being done on Villard will be similar to that done on Highway 22 last summer, he said.
"I think, for the most part, it's simply a maintenance project rather than an upgrade project," Kessel said. "Certainly it will provide us with a much better traveling surface, which is generally safer. But it's not going to provide the upgrades that we hope for."
At its last meeting of 2012, the Dickinson City Commission approved the funding for the city's share of the I-94 Business Loop project, which was $360,000, about 10 percent of the total cost.
"These projects have costs that are not insignificant," Commissioner Gene Jackson said when the commission approved the bid. "Even though it's 90 percent federal project, they all add up. When you look at our needs -- our other dollar needs -- in the coming years we can't forget about these things or minimize the impact of them."
In its transportation plan for Dickinson, KLJ has identified eight priority projects for the upcoming biennium, ranging from a $320,000 traffic light addition to a $32.4 million railroad underpass on State Avenue. The projects suggested for 2013-14 total an estimated $62.6 million.
"The underpass is a need to provide a way to get trucks out of the downtown, residential areas and get them onto designated truck routes," said KLJ Project Manager Bob Shannon. "Also, if the (Third Avenue) underpass was ever going to be replace it would have to have a consideration of another location before they could shut down the other one."
KLJ also suggests the city replace the four-way stops along State Avenue with its intersections with Fairway Street and Empire Road with traffic signals for $320,000 each set.
"It makes for better traffic flow and it minimizes delay," Shannon said. "Also, as traffic volumes continue to increase, then a traffic signal becomes more appropriate for traffic control."
Another significant project that will have to happen in Dickinson is a true truck reliever route, Shannon said. KLJ estimated more than $17 million to create this bypass of the city between its main roads, Highway 22 and I-94.
In his state of the state address earlier this week, Gov. Jack Dalrymple pledged just under $1 billion in one-time funding for infrastructure in western North Dakota, but Dickinson will have to fight for the funding.
"The next two years -- the first phase -- is going to be the most concerning for us, most imperative to get our arms wrapped around," Kessel said.
KLJ is taking comments on the 10th Avenue West and 12th Street West projects until Friday. They can be emailed to email@example.com or mailed to KLJ, Attn: Craig Kubas, PO Box 290, Dickinson, ND 58601.