Dickinson bypass comment period still openResidents with an opinion about proposed routes for a truck bypass running along the northwest side of Dickinson connecting North Dakota Highway 22 and Interstate 94 have a few more weeks to comment.
By: Katherine Grandstrand, The Dickinson Press
Residents with an opinion about proposed routes for a truck bypass running along the northwest side of Dickinson connecting North Dakota Highway 22 and Interstate 94 have a few more weeks to comment.
Several voiced their concerns with three of the proposed routes at a public input meeting at the Heart River Retreat in southwest Dickinson on Thursday evening, but those who were unable to attend have until March 7 to tell HDR Engineering how they feel about the route and to propose alternatives.
“We have experienced a lot of growth in that area so the city had approached the (North Dakota Department of Transportation) to come up with a northwest bypass,” HDR project manager Rick Stoppelmoor said.
The project is a partnership between the NDDOT, HDR, the Federal Highway Administration, Stark County and the city of Dickinson.
The Dickinson City Commission at its Feb. 5 meeting endorsed one route at the request of the NDDOT, but that decision was not binding.
“They don’t make the decision on what alignment gets carried forward,” Stoppelmoor said. “They get their preference. The director of transportation will make the determination of what alternative that they want to see as the preferred alignment.”
The purpose of the project is to relieve traffic traveling between I-94 and Highway 22 through Dickinson.
While several areas were studied, the partners whittled the selection down to three proposed routes that would connect the two thoroughfares at 116th Avenue and I-94 and 33rd Street and Highway 22, but would meander between the two intersections at different points.
Because these were the three preferred route does not mean they are the only three choices, and HDR is accepting comments to make sure residents and landowners will be happy with the final route, Stoppelmoor said.
“We don’t have an actual preferred route at this time,” he said. “That’s what we’re listening for.”
Some would like to see the connection point further north on Highway 22.
“Usually a bypass, you want to get out a ways from the city or construction of the city,” resident Allen Cote said. “If you go on 33rd Street you’re less than a mile from the actual city limits. You would think you would want to get a few miles out.”
Several area residents voiced their concern over the direct and indirect impact on their land and wellbeing.
“There’s nobody in this area that is against the bypass,” said land owner Clarence Tuhy, Stark County sheriff. “We need the bypass. But where it’s located and where it’s going to have the least impact on residents and not only landowners.”
Trucking companies were not contacted about the route, said Jim Anderson who was representing Wyoming Casing at the meeting. His company’s preferred route would be along 34th Street and down to Exit 59.
“One thing you’ll also have to take into consideration if you’re going to build this bypass is for the convenience of the truck drivers,” he said. “If you make it inconvenient for them to go five miles west of town and then come five miles back east into town … they’re not going to use that road, anyway.”
Because the comment period is still open, landowner Colleen Rodakowski encouraged anyone who had an opinion to share it.
“I would bet there are tons of people that are not doing their part because they don’t feel they have that voice,” she said. “We do have that right, so I would just encourage you to do your part.”
To make a comment on the project visit www.dickinsonbypass.com, call or email HDR Project Manager Rick Stoppelmoor at 701-557-9602 or firstname.lastname@example.org or NDDOT Project Manager Michael Johnson at 701-328-2118 or email@example.com.