ARVILLA, N.D. -- The North Dakota Department of Transportation will not install a reduced-conflict intersection on a portion of U.S. Highway 2 northeast of Arvilla.
Instead, NDDOT will extend the turn lanes on Grand Forks County Road 2 and remove the eastbound ramp, transportation department representatives told attendees at a public meeting at the Arvilla Community Center Monday, Nov. 25. About 40 people, mostly from Arvilla Township, attended the meeting and questioned NDDOT representatives about a revised plan for the intersection.
At a public meeting held in July , NDDOT officials had proposed to install a reduced conflict intersection, or J-turn, on a section of 800 feet west of County Road 2 to 700 feet east of the Turtle River State Park entrance.
Attendees at the July meeting expressed opposition to the project. The public's input during the two-week comment period afterward also was disapproving, said Aaron Murra, NDDOT'S engineering manager.
“A lot of people didn’t like the idea,” said Murra, adding that, when there’s opposition to a proposal, NDDOT officials reassess it. “We go back to the drawing board."
Besides removing the eastbound ramp onto U.S. Highway 2, NDDOT’s revised plan calls for widening the intersection of County Road 2 and U.S. Highway 2 to accommodate turning movements. Meanwhile, destination lighting will be installed at the Arvilla intersection and the Turtle River State Park entrance, and turn lanes at Turtle River State Park will be extended.
Some people at Monday's NDDOT’s informational meeting, which was held in an open house format, were unhappy with the removal of the eastbound on-ramp, telling NDDOT representatives that it will result in backed-up traffic during the morning commute to Grand Forks and that it will be difficult to merge onto U.S. Highway 2 from a stop.
The eastbound ramp onto U.S. Highway 2 is being removed to improve safety at the intersection, according to Murra, who noted that on-ramps typically aren't used to access highways and the ramp doesn't originate on a bridge, but from level ground.
“It’s usual for the interstate, but not usual for U.S. 2,” he said.
Larry Hagen, Turtle River State Park manager, said he was pleased with the changes that will affect the park entrance. Extending and widening the turn lanes to the park entrance and installing lighting will make access to the park safer for weekend campers as well as day visitors, Hagen said.
“It’s a very nice improvement,” he said.
The revised project, which will cost $637,00, is anticipated to be funded with 90% or $573,000 in federal money and $63,700 in state dollars.
The project, which will be combined with a concrete overlay, is expected to begin in the summer of 2021.