The city of Mandan has officially approved a plan to make some major improvements to Main Street. It will take place in the downtown area of 10th Ave all the way through Collins Ave.
The biggest change will be making Main Street four to three lanes and adding parking to the south side of the street.
I went around to some local businesses in Mandan to see what they think about these new modifications.
“That’s just the stupidest thing, but you know coming from a retail business from this side of Main Street, I think it’s a very good idea.”
Hoffman is the owner of Suzie Q’s. She tells me she has been open nearly 9 years and says this project should have been done years ago.
“It’s going to help any business on the south side of Main Street because there is no parking on the South side of Main Street and I feel like it’s going to bring in more business.”
She says the lack of parking and her south side location have definitely had a negative impact on her business.
“They don’t see our building because of the trees and a lot of people will even say I didn’t know this building was here and its been here since 1928,” says Hoffman.
I walked over to the North side of the street to see if business owners had similar feelings.
Owner of Butcher Blocks Meat, Brian Masseth says, “I thought it was a good idea for us because we were apart of the one lane and now we are going to have a little bit more parking, slow people down, take a look and give them opportunities to jump across and make a quick stop at the Butcher Block.”
Mayor Tim Helbling wasn’t able to speak to us on camera but told us this: “We need to do something to slow the traffic down and make this part of town more walkable.”
“I have noticed that some of the trucks they try to race and see who can beat who to the next light,” adds Hoffman. “So, I don’t know if they are speeding or not but you know when you see a big heavy truck coming at you it’s kind of scary.”
Which Hoffman says has even gotten to the point where she doesn’t even like crossing the intersections.
“Even if there’s a light I don’t trust it a lot of people run lights and you have to be aware of your surroundings.”
The project also will include stamped/colored concrete, pedestrian sidewalk lighting, pedestrian crossings, and curb bulb-outs, all things the city hopes will keep more people safe.
“I mean Bismarck did it and it seems to be working out for them so if it doesn’t work we can always go back but I think it should help out Mandan,” says Masseth.
The total cost of the project is estimated to be around 3 million dollars. It’s funded through federal and state grants with a 10% local share coming in around $324,000. Construction will begin in 2020.
The North Dakota Department of Transportation has created a webpage dedicated to the project, click here for that.
This project will also be different from the Bismarck Main Street Project.