Micro-level Alternative Analysis

Posted by chrislharris chrislharris
To date, the I-29 Corridor study has identified recurring congestion expected by 2025 at Gateway Drive and DeMers Avenue and by 2040 at 32nd Avenue. This congestion spills onto interstate mainline creating friction and increasing crash potential. Past memorandums identified opportunities to improve geometry, access, traffic control and bicycle and pedestrian facilities at existing interchanges. The analysis completed also found network-wide benefits associated with interchanges located at 47th Avenue and Merrifield Road/CR 6.

The most recent phase, the Micro-Level Analysis phase, focused on identifying, evaluating and refining alternatives at each existing interchange, potential new interchanges and on the I-29 roadway itself (also known as mainline). Improvements included reconfigurations, widening, traffic control, intelligent transportation systems, access control and others. Alternatives were presented to the steering committee made up of staff from the MPO, NDDOT, City of Grand Forks and Grand Forks County for evaluation and feedback. Early technical findings and feedback from the steering committee indicate the following;

• The North Washington Street Interchange has some opportunities for better access management and improve geometrics of the northbound ramps.

• The Gateway Drive Interchange still supports the Northeast Loop alternative, the first ranked alternative from the US 2 Study completed one year ago. It also found a grade separation of the Glasston Railline, east of 42nd Street, is important for effective operations at the interchange.

• The DeMers Avenue Interchange would benefit from traffic control and lane configuration improvements to accommodate daily recurring congestion. The 42nd Street Underpass would mitigate additional significant infrastructure improvements on the interstate system to accommodate impacts from train events.
• Based upon 2040 traffic forecasts, The 32nd Avenue Interchange operations cannot be satisfactorily improved without a 47th Avenue interchange. However, access revisions west of the interstate were found to be beneficial under all scenarios.

• A 47th Avenue interchange with an additional I-29 travel lane between the 32nd Avenue interchange and the 47th Avenue interchange ramps were found to provide the greatest benefit to mainline I-29 operations, when compared to other options. The interchange could be shifted south by 0.25 miles and minimize impacts to the campground. Any configuration would require at least 1,000 feet of space between the next intersections to improve interchange operations into the future.
• A Merrifield Road/CR 6 Interchange could be implemented by adding ramps only. Adding ramps would bring the need to improve traffic control at the intersection of Merrifield Road/CR 6 and Columbia Road by 2040.

• No significant capacity issues were identified on mainline I-29 once bottlenecks at the key interchanges of Gateway Drive, DeMers Avenue and 32nd Avenue were relieved.

For more details, please refer to the Micro-Level Analysis Report, located here.
What do you think? How should these improvements be prioritized? You can provide comments in the following ways:

• In the Comments Tab of the website to be sent directly to the project team.
• At the Public Input Meeting at the Alerus Center (1200 S 42nd Street, Grand Forks) on February 16th from 5:30-7:30 pm. Formal presentation to begin at 5:30.