Bismarck - Those hoping for a fast ride in and out of Bismarck from the North on Highway 83, may have to wait a little longer.
This after a public engagement meeting Monday night regarding the Highway 83 Alternative Study.
Over 100 people showed up to Century High School Monday night to learn about the future of Highway 83.
Since October of 2017, engineers, city, and county officials have been looking at ways to unclog the congested Highway 83 corridor from Interstate 94 to 71st Ave NE...one of those options was to build an alternative route to the east of Bismarck that would funnel traffic away from the corridor to aid travelers who wanted to head toward more northern areas...or for those travelers coming from the north and looking to avoid Bismarck on their way to Interstate 94.
But despite several public meetings and the creation of several new possible alignments of Highway 83, a consulting firm says the changes wouldn't alleviate current issues in the short-term.
"Therefore that corridor, having a number of needs, from an operational congestion standpoint, it's at this time that we're putting our attention into the present corridor and identifying how we move forward from there." Said Craig Vaughn with SFR Consulting Group.
But that doesn't mean no changes will be made, instead, engineers will continue to look at ways to make traffic flow smoother along the existing State Street corridor, as traffic volumes are expected to grow from 28,000 vehicles today to over 63,000 by the year 2040 while crashes are expected to increase 70 percent over the same time frame if nothing is done...
"From traffic operations and safety perspective, there's a number of needs along that corridor so we're trying to identify what alternatives and what types of improvements within this planning horizon to the year 2040 are most appropriate to affect change and improve operations along it. " Said, Vaughn,
People we talked to at Monday night's meeting told me Highway 83 is only going to get busier.
"If the population continues to get higher, those issues will be compounded so there need to be a lot of effort and thought into our infrastructure and how we plan this out."
Officials will now look at three options for the State Street corridor, one that simply fixes the timing of the traffic lights, one that expands the road to 6 lanes and a third that creates several interstate-style interchanges at key intersections.
All the information on the Highway 83 study can be found at https://www.hwy83altstudy.com
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