West Fargo city commissioners approved moving forward with three traffic studies to determine whether road improvements or expansions are needed.
City Engineer Dustin Scott asked the city to approve contracts with KLJ Engineering to study traffic impacts and needs at the Ninth Street West and 32nd Avenue intersection and the Ninth Street East/Veterans Boulevard Corridor as well as the traffic signal timing for about $154,420.
KLJ will collect 12-hour data including auto, pedestrian, bicycle and truck movements, as well as intersection crash data. KLJ will look at current traffic patterns and future projections.
“We anticipate having significant increase in traffic volumes, especially when the F-M Diversion is completed,” Scott said of the areas.
Scott said the city would like to study the traffic impacts of the Veterans Boulevard/Ninth Street Corridor and a roughly 2-mile radius around the street.
Scott said the last time the area was studied was in 2012.
Commissioner Mike Thorstad asked if the city would be working with the city of Fargo on the Veterans Boulevard study, since south of Interstate 94, Veterans Boulevard is the dividing line between the two cities.
Scott said there has been no coordination with the city of Fargo as much of the east side of the road in Fargo has already been developed and they would likely not be interested.
However, development is ongoing on the west side of the road, with large businesses such as WEX and Enclave planning to build or expand.
Scott said if the traffic study concludes improvements should be made, the city would discuss them with Fargo.
Scott’s request to study the intersection of Ninth Street West and 32nd Avenue South is due to Ninth Street West, the road that goes past Aurora Elementary School.
Scott said a temporary light was at the intersection while the three-year Sheyenne Street project was ongoing. Now that the project has wrapped up and the temporary light was removed, some members of the public have asked if the light could be installed permanently.
“The signal lights were absolutely critical during the construction period,” Mayor Bernie Dardis said.
Scott said the city has an agreement with KLJ to continuously look at signal timing so that traffic can move more freely through the intersections with traffic lights.
“It’s really a retooling of that original agreement that was approved in 2015 or 2016 and reestablishing terms to move us through the next years,” Scott said.