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Highway 22 section going to three lanes in 2019

A section of Highway 22 south of Dickinson is getting a facelift. The North Dakota Department of Transportation held a public input meeting Thursday at City Hall for a project that could begin in 2019. Mill and overlay work to resurface the highw...

At a public input meeting held at City Hall Wednesday, Jason Fischer, Dickinson NDDOT, right, and City Engineer Craig Kubas, look over plans for a resurfacing and restriping project on a portion of Highway 22 that will take place in 2019. (Brandon L. Summers / The Dickinson Press)
At a public input meeting held at City Hall Wednesday, Jason Fischer, Dickinson NDDOT, right, and City Engineer Craig Kubas, look over plans for a resurfacing and restriping project on a portion of Highway 22 that will take place in 2019. (Brandon L. Summers / The Dickinson Press)
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A section of Highway 22 south of Dickinson is getting a facelift.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation held a public input meeting Thursday at City Hall for a project that could begin in 2019.

Mill and overlay work to resurface the highway will take place from 500 feet south of Eighth Street to the Heart River Bridge, Jason Fischer, Dickinson NDDOT Assistant District Engineer, explained.

The project will also restripe the highway to make it a three-lane section with dedicated left turn lanes at the intersecting streets and possibly remove signal lights at Sixth Street.

The biggest reason for going to three lanes is safety, Fischer said.

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"Right now, with a four-lane section, it's hard for the public to make correct decisions when they're turning on and off the side streets," he said. "By going to three lanes with dedicated left lanes, it helps eliminate the weaving and so on."

He added, "We think it will clean it up and make it a safer section."

Going to three lanes will also provide consistency, Fischer said.

"Right now, the segment to the north is three lanes," he said. "This will just be a continuation of that."

The current striping has created problems at that section of highway, Fischer said.

"The crash rate down there is higher than what we'd like," he said. "We've seen around 50 crashes in that area in the past five years. Most of them occur at the intersections. A majority of them are at the Eighth Street intersection."

NDDOT is also considering removing the traffic lights at the Sixth Street intersection.

"We did a traffic operation study through there and based on our traffic counts and pedestrian counts, the signal wasn't warranted," Fischer said.

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Resurfacing the section of highway will help to maintain its integrity and improve the ride, Fischer said.

"This was a good time to restripe the project since it has a new surfacing on it," he said.

NDDOT has worked on the section of Highway 22 in the past.

"I think we resurfaced it last in 2004 and did a seal coat in 2009," Fischer said. "It isn't odd to just work on just this section of road."

Though no engineering work has been done for the project as it is only in the planning stage, the estimated cost of the project is roughly $1.2 million.

The project is expected to go out to bid March 2019, with construction taking place in the 2019 construction season, Fischer said.

The usual impact on drivers as work takes place is expected.

"During construction, obviously the speed will be reduced through there," Fischer said. "We will maintain traffic through there at all times using flaggers, as well, to help get construction traffic in and out and help control the intersections."

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City Engineer Craig Kubas said the project will benefit Dickinson.

"We certainly believe the traffic here would be well suited to a three-lane section," he said. "It could be a good improvement to south Highway 22."

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