School board gives nod for street improvements near Veterans Blvd.
The thoroughfare that is Veterans Boulevard has made traveling over Interstate 94 from north West Fargo to south West Fargo easier, and helped alleviate congestion on neighboring north-south byways.
But while the relatively new road appears adequate at efficiently moving traffic in its current state, plans are in the works for improvements in the not-too-distant future to help control the flow of what is predicted to be one of the busiest roads in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
And as of Monday's West Fargo school board meeting at Westside Elementary School, there are even talks about installing an intersection that area citizens love to hate: a roundabout.
Moore Engineer's Dustin Scott, who also is West Fargo's Assistant City Engineer, extrapolated on the plans for Veterans Boulevard, as well as the addition of a new street just west of the district's land that currently houses Cheney Middle School, but what will hold both a new high school and new middle school.
Scott said Veterans Boulevard likely will turn into a four-lane road, with two northbound and two southbound lanes, and is estimated to transport 16,000 vehicles per day within five years.
But while the road will grow, there are now plans to install a traffic light at the current entrance to Cheney, which is located on the west side of Veterans Boulevard.
"There is not going to be enough volume to warrant a signal light," Scott said.
West Fargo Public School business manager Mark Lemer said the only option would be to create another street bordering the district's land on the west.
"We can't have the site operating at maximum potential without it," he said.
The addition of a 7th Street East, which would connect the south side of the Shadow Wood development with 40th Avenue South, would give both buses and automobiles better maneuverability into and out of the campus.
The new street should be open by next fall, Scott said.
The addition of a 7th Street East also would allow for additional parking, which is "out of the question" along the other three roads, Lemer said.
Funding for the installation, which would include municipal potable water, sanitary and storm sewers and streetlights, likely would come from implementation of a special assessment, Lemer said.
The only bump on the discussion came from the possibility of a roundabout being installed at the current entrance to Cheney Middle School.
While final plans are still in the air, disappointment from school board members was obvious after the motion was passed.
"Now that that's done, all in favor of never allowing another roundabout in West Fargo say 'aye,'" President Ben Koppelman said, jokingly.