Dickinson City Commissioners have not approved turning South State Avenue into a three-lane road. The item was tabled at the commission's Aug. 6 meeting to receive input from the public and Dickinson Police Department.
State Avenue between Villard Street and Southwest Eighth Street will go from four lanes to three lanes this year.
The City of Dickinson is preparing to restripe the road.
State Avenue has not been striped since it was originally paved in the mid-80s, City Engineer Craig Kubas said.
"It's due for a restriping," he said. "Our plan is to restripe it south of the State Avenue railroad bridge as a three-lane roadway, instead of four."
Because the road will have extra width with the new striping, the city is adding bicycle lanes.
"It'll be a good tie-in with the softball complex on the south side of the river," Kubas said. "And since it goes up to the golf course, we can get bikers up there safely, as well."
There has been more demand for bicycle lanes.
"It's certainly a trend nationally," Kubas said, "and we want to encourage people to get out and be pedestrians as much as possible."
Having the lanes also makes road travel safer for bicyclists.
"Bikes, strictly speaking, should be using the roadway, not the sidewalks," Kubas said. "We would like to get those bicyclists on the roadway and the safest way to do that is a dedicated bicycle lane."
The city hopes having three lanes will reduce speeding on State Avenue.
"We've had a few accidents over the last five or so years where there was real excessive speeds," Kubas said. "Since each direction of travel will only have one lane of roadway, that might curb any instances of excessive speed or potentially racing."
There have been three instances this year of vehicles leaving the roadway due to excessive speeds, Kubas said.
"It's caused personal property damage to houses and yards," he said.
Road work is expected to start this Summer/Fall.
The project will require grooving the concrete pavement down about an eighth of an inch and laying tape down in the grooved section.
"That way, our snow plows can go over it without tearing it off, and tires don't wear off the paint as much," Kubas said.
The project is expected to cost roughly $70,000.
"The bike lanes have been a recent addition, so there will be more tape down with the bike lanes, but we certainly envision this coming below the threshold," Kubas said. "We think this will be less than $100,000."
Kubas anticipates there will be some disruption to traffic.
"The grooving takes the most time. Laying the tape is fairly quick," he said. "We'll have work zone signing up when that happens, probably reduced speeds, but it should be a minimal disruption. I would envision we'd maintain two-way traffic through there."
The project should not take more than two weeks.
"The striping that was out there lasted all of 30 years," Kubas said. "If we get another 30 years out of it, two weeks of disruption is pretty minimal."
He added, "I think it would be a good improvement to south Dickinson."