WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
EDIT (10-20-16) Link to videos depicting future congestion issues in study area.
As outlined in previous reports, future population, employment and subsequent traffic growth is projected to dramatically increase congestion at many of the key I-29 interchanges over the next 20 years. Without added capacity or new infrastructure, the interchanges at 32nd Avenue, DeMers Avenue and Gateway Drive will experience several minutes of delay, long queuing onto mainline interstate and subsequent safety issues associated with these problems.
WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?
As a key component to the I-29 Corridor Study, a myriad of major infrastructure scenarios were studied to alter traffic patterns and ease congestion at existing interchanges. The focus was on major improvements such as new grade separations above/below I-29, new interchanges to access I-29 and new river crossings across the Red River to reroute traffic.
WHAT’D WE FIND?
Below is a snapshot of the findings from the Macro-Level Alternatives Report
and Executive Summary
which can be found in the Reports section of the website. The reports includes a variety of additional insight and analysis on these topics.
• River Crossings – Red River crossings at 32nd Avenue and Merrifield Road were found to provide great benefit to the region as a whole but did little to improve forecasted congestion on I-29 and were not carried forward as part of this study. These improvements should be studied further with projects not focused on the interstate system.
• Grade Separations (over/underpasses) – grade separations were studied at 17th Avenue, 47th Avenue and 62nd Avenue. The cost of these improvements outweighed the benefits in the near-term and were not carried forward as part of this study. It is possible that these improvements will provide greater benefits in future years as development continue to increase and growth patterns evolve.
• New Interchanges – new interchanges at 47th Avenue and Merrifield Road (County Road 6) were found to provide tremendous value to the region. 47th Avenue in particular was found to reduce congestion at 32nd Avenue to point where the 16 million dollars’ (2016 dollars) worth of improvements on 32nd Avenue could be mitigated. Merrifield Road provided a major reduction to regional vehicle miles travelled. 62nd Avenue was studied as a possible interchange location but this location had limited benefits with similar costs to 47th Avenue and was not identified as a cost effective solution in the near term.
• Multiple/Split Interchanges – by 2040, it was identified that implementing both 47th Avenue and Merrifield Road interchanges would be a cost effective improvement strategy. The opportunity to split the two interchanges so 47th Avenue supported traffic to/from the north and Merrifield Road to/from the south was also identified as a cost effective solution. However, this alternative is considered a backup plan if more traditional configurations cannot be achieved.
HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED
What are your thoughts? Which infrastructure improvements do you believe will be most beneficial? Please provide comments in the following way;
• In the comments section of this article below.
• In the Comments Tab of the website to be sent directly to the project team.