NDDOT working toward bypassing Dickinson portion of Highway 22About 50 people filled the Trinity High School Auditorium on Tuesday for a public input meeting on a bypass that could divert 8,000 to 12,000 vehicles around Dickinson.
About 50 people filled the Trinity High School Auditorium on Tuesday for a public input meeting on a bypass that could divert 8,000 to 12,000 vehicles around Dickinson.
“Oil is already impacting this area,” said Rick Stoppelmoor, HDR senior project engineer in Omaha, Neb. “Not everyone wants it, not everyone likes it, but we do have to react to it.”
The bypass would divert traffic from Interstate 94 west of Dickinson to Highway 22 north of Dickinson. Studies are being conducted on 116th Avenue Southwest, 30th Avenue West, 34th Street Southwest, 33rd Street Southwest and 32nd Street Southwest.
The North Dakota Department of Transportation is working with the city of Dickinson, Stark County, the Federal Highway Association in Washington, D.C., and HDR to build the bypass. There is no set estimate or construction date for the project. Plans are expected to be finished in the summer of 2013. The study area is a minimum of 500 feet wide while the corridor potential is 200 feet.
Stoppelmoor said there are a lot of factors for the project.
He said the bypass needs to be built in a place that best serves residents. One factor is how far the bypass can go without it becoming ineffective.
“The further away from the city we get, the less likely it will function as a bypass,” he said. “That’s why we didn’t look west past 116th because then it kind of gets away from the functionality of a bypass and becomes more of a rural collector.”
Dickinson resident Nick Letang said the bypass should go north to at least 32nd Street Southwest since businesses are developing north of Dickinson.
Sen. George Nodland, R-Dickinson, said putting the bypass on Exit 39 would not divert truck traffic around Dickinson.
“If we are really going to be serious about building a truck bypass, we need to go to 116th,” he said. “Get around Dickinson, not through Dickinson.”
Project manager Michael Johnson of the DOT Local Government Division said the project is in its first stages and the DOT and HDR must first finish the environmental evaluations before they can choose a route. He added that the study areas may or may not be one of the chosen routes for the bypass.
“This is where we start. These are the ones we have identified. If it comes out that none of these are feasible we have to start looking at other ones,” he said.
Nodland said while the bypass needs to be done as quickly as possible, it needs to be done right. He added it will affect some people, but “it needs to be done for the public good,” he said.
“Some people get paid for their easement and give up the use of their land,” he added. “They get the additional traffic, but the other side is that they get a nice paved road up to their house or farm.”
Stoppelmoor said another public input meeting would be held in June. He also said he wanted to hear about which routes people favored or disapproved of. For more information on the bypass or to submit comments, go to www.dickinsonbypass.com.