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City Council members updated on major transportation projects in Grand Forks

The regional transportation projects include the 42nd Street grade separation, the I-29 interchange and a south-end intercity bridge.

Grand Forks City Hall
Grand Forks City Hall, 255 N. 4th St. Sam Easter / Grand Forks Herald
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GRAND FORKS – Members of the Grand Forks City Council on Tuesday heard an update on three regional transportation projects on the city's wish list, including the 42nd Street underpass, the I-29 interchange and a south-end intercity bridge.

The 42nd Street underpass — proposed for the intersection of 42nd Street and DeMers Avenue — is in development for an environmental document. At present, a number of alternatives are being considered for the grade separation.

City Engineer David Kuharenko said the project will address issues at the intersection related to the train traffic that blocks 42nd Street an estimated two hours per day. Kuharenko said there are also issues with emergency personnel getting through that intersection.

The total cost of the underpass — also being called a "grade separation project" — is estimated between $45-55 million. Last year, the city applied for regional road funding for the project.

The I-29 interchange project, located at 47th Avenue South, also is in the environmental document stage. Kuharenko said the project intends to address safety concerns with added traffic on 32nd Avenue South and the off-ramps from I-29.

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“There is a safety concern of traffic backing up onto the ramp and backing up into the I-29 mainline, which obviously if you have traffic traveling at 75 miles per hour or so and a stopped vehicle, that’s a serious safety concern,” Kuharenko said.

The total cost for the interchange project is estimated to be $53 million, though Kuharenko said the number is still to be updated and refined. The cost of the supporting road network along 47th Avenue South and 48th Street is estimated at $12 million.

The south-end intercity bridge — which would add another connected over the Red River between Grand Forks and East Grand Forks — has already had a hydraulic impact study and traffic impact analysis completed, though more coordination between Grand Forks, East Grand Forks and the school district is needed. Kuharenko said there are still a number of steps being worked on, such as narrowing the potential bridge location to either Elks Drive or 32nd Avenue South.

Kuharenko said there’s a need for the south-end intercity bridge to ease traffic congestion along Belmont Road, at the Point Bridge and at the Sorlie Bridge.

The total cost of the project is estimated to be between $32 million and $41 million. Kuharenko said potential funding options for the project are still being explored.

READ MORE GRAND FORKS CITY COUNCIL NEWS
Council newcomers Rebecca Osowski, Ward 2, and Tricia Lunski, Ward 4, newly elected Grand Forks Municipal Judge Kerry Rosenquist and reelected council member Dana Sande, Ward 6, were sworn in on Tuesday night

In other council news Monday:

  • Council members received a due diligence update on the proposed Fufeng wet corn-mill plant project. The last due diligence update was presented to the council at the end of March. During Monday’s meeting, updates were given on the environmental review progress, utility service evaluations , infrastructure funding, planning and zoning, annexation area evaluation and national security.
  • Approved plans and specifications for the expansion of City Hall lot C. The city anticipates the loss of parking available to the public and city staff from the Franklin on Fourth development and redevelopment at the Herald building. The proposed expansion of lot C would add an additional 38 parking stalls to the parking lot.
Related Topics: GRAND FORKS CITY COUNCIL
Meghan Arbegast grew up in Security-Widefield, Colorado. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from North Dakota State University in Fargo, in 2021.

Arbegast wrote for The Spectrum, NDSU's student newspaper, for three years and was Head News Editor for two years. She was an intern with University Relations her last two semesters of college.

Arbegast covers news pertaining to the city of Grand Forks/East Grand Forks including city hall coverage.

Readers can reach Arbegast at 719-235-8640 or MArbegast@gfherald.com.

Pronouns: She/Her
Languages: English
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