A new pedestrian bridge for the 30th Avenue overpass is being planned for 2020.

The project is one of many planned by the North Dakota Department of Transportation for the Southwest District using federal aid dollars.

"With the middle school being built up there, and a lot of the housing south of the interstate, and some students going back and forth, there's just more pedestrian traffic," Rob Rayhorn, NDDOT district engineer, said. "The bridge that's there doesn't allow for pedestrians."

The project is expected to cost $570,000 total.

A trail is also planned for south of the Interstate-94 overpass to Fairway Street.

More than $195 million in NDDOT projects is planned over the next four years in the 10-county district, Rayhorn said. Of that, $160 million is federal funding.

The projects are detailed in the NDDOT's 2020-2023 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) plan.

Other 2020 projects include: lighting update and microsurfacing for Villard Street in Dickinson; overlay and widening for Highway 21 and Highway 22, near New England; overlay for Highway 8, north of Halliday; and a new roundabout for the Highway 200/Highway 49 intersection near Beulah.

Also planned are bridge projects and transportation alternatives, such as trails and sidewalks near schools, safety projects, and street revitalization programs.

"Each category gets a different amount of that federal aid money," Rayhorn said.

The majority of the projects are rural, Rayhorn explained.

"In general, we get about $280 million of federal aid per year, and that has to cover our rural highways, interstate highways," he said. "It funds the urban federal aid roads. In Dickinson, you have State Avenue, 21st Street, and quite a few other ones."

The only 'urban area' projects listed are in Dickinson, but for a reason.

"Dickinson is the only city in our district that is over 5,000 (people), so they're the only one that has 'urban' projects," Rayhorn said. "If you're under 5,000, you would qualify for the NDStreets program, or just our rural highways going through the town."

In selecting projects for the STIP plan, Rayhorn receives public ideas and comments, makes his choices, and in the summer sends out a draft of the four-year plan. The finalized plan is released in the fall.

"To get federal aid, we have to do this, and then (the U.S. Federal Highway Administration) has to approve it," Rayhorn said. "If we don't do it, we don't get the federal aid."

There are many benefits to investing dollars in district road projects, Rayhorn said.

"The rural projects, they improve the ride. On the highway, you maybe make it wider or add shoulders," he said. "Each category of projects has its own unique benefits."

Comments or concerns on future projects can be submitted to Rob Rayhorn, NDDOT Dickinson District engineer, at 227-6511 or by email at rrayhorn@nd.gov.

The complete NDDOT 2020-2023 STIP plan is available online at: www.dot.nd.gov/manuals/programming/STIP/Final-STIP.pdf