March 21, 2013

Bypass gets public hearing

Bypass gets public hearing

By Jerry W. Kram

New Town’s quest to move truck traffic off of Main Street got a step closer Tuesday as the North Dakota Department of Transportation held a public hearing on a truck reliever route that would move traffic north and east of New Town.
The hearing was set to gather public input on the project, which the city has been pursuing for two years. The DOT spokespeople said the department had considered nine alternative routes. Five of those routes were dropped from consideration because of various problems. The two routes originally proposed by the city would have gone through the old city landfill, which is now closed. Environmental regulations make it very difficult to do projects on closed landfills. Another idea, to improve Main Street to better handle the traffic was also dropped, since the idea was to ease traffic through New Town. Routing the traffic south of New Town was also dropped because it would have involved two railroad crossings, would have to accommodate restrictions because of the airport and lagoon, and would be longer than any of the northeast routes.
The Environmental Assessment considered four routes in depth. The preferred alternative would go up 87th Avenue where it intersects with North Dakota Highway 23 about one mile east of College Drive and would follow an oil field road until it can join up with 40th Street where it connects to North Dakota Highway 1804.


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