January 23, 2014

Wanted: Comments on Main Street upgrades

By Jerry W. Kram

Years in the making.

That could be the slogan for the North Dakota Department of Transportation’s plan to upgrade the Main Street of New Town. A final timeline for the project was unveiled at a public hearing on the project held at the New Town Civic Center on Thursday, where a small crowd was informed that, if all finally goes as scheduled, construction will start in the spring of 2015.

City and state officials first got together to start work on a plan for the street in 2007, just before the oil boom took root in the region. The project plans got an upgrade after a traffic study in 2010 showed just how many more trucks and other vehicles were going through New Town on a daily basis. By the time the project was originally planned to start in 2012, it was clearly going to be impossible for all the traffic to be diverted while construction was happening. The city and the state agreed to delay the Main Street project until a truck reliever route (bypass) could be built. The bypass was to have been built in 2013 but was delayed a year due to tribal concerns about the impact of the project on the Elbowoods Clinic. The bypass will be built this summer and the Main Street Project is scheduled for the summer of 2015.

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