October 28, 2011

DOT supports New Town bypass

DOT supports New Town bypass
By Jerry W. Kram

The New Town City Council made its case to the Director of the North Dakota Department of Transportation, Francis Ziegler, for a truck bypass that would divert about 75 percent of semi traffic off of the city’s Main Street.
Mayor Dan Uran told Ziegler that without a bypass it would be impossible for the city to repave Main Street in 2012 like it had planned. Recent traffic counts showed that 11,000 vehicles a day used Main Street including 2,200 semi trucks. The city presented a plan that would create a truck route that would go north of N.D. Highway 23 and then west to N.D. Highway 1804. Allan Estvold with Ackerman Estvold Engineering of Minot explained the city’s plan. He said the bypass would be about 3.5 miles long and cost about $6 million to build.
“I agree that building Main Street would be a nightmare under these circumstances,” Ziegler said. “Even if it gets built it couldn’t handle this level of traffic.”
City Council members also pointed out that the level of traffic wasn’t sustainable. Two lane roads are only designed to carry about 10,000 vehicles a day so even if it was improved Main Street would be more than 10 percent over that capacity at current traffic levels.

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