Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Street construction update

I took a drive around town this evening and noticed that quite a few street construction projects are either completed, near completion, or at least well underway. This year, there really hasn't been any one huge project. Instead, the projects seem to be relatively small in scope and scattered all over the city. Of course, projects like these are often inconvenient and there are certainly more than enough people in town who like to grumble about street construction projects, but I for one am always happy to see projects like these take place. Some of these projects have been needed for far to long and others are essential if we want to continue to grow as a city. Street construction may be a bit of a pain, but it is a pain that I gladly endure!

Here's an update on where city street projects stand right now:

Columbia Road overpass - The reconstruction/repair of a portion of the overpass' south side is now complete (press release). The project's purpose was to repair a "finger joint" which had shifted a while ago. In light of recent headlines, it's probably a pretty good idea to make certain that bridges and overpasses are in good structural condition. This project reduced traffic on the overpass to two-lane, two-way traffic. A headache, but I'm happy to see the overpass once again in good shape.

University Avenue overpass - This reconstruction project is now complete (press release). The project entirely shut down the University Avenue overpass for much of the summer, requiring some rather long detours for motorists. Before the project, this was one of the bumpiest stretches of roadway in the entire city...you almost felt like you were going to lose your engine or something...literally. Now, I'm happy to say that the approaches to the overpass are nice and smooth. In my opinion, it took way too long for this necessary reconstruction project to take place. I'm just happy that it finally did take place after many years of bumpy rides. My only problem is the fact that there is now a short stretch of University Avenue between 42nd Street and the overpass that is still all broken up and bumpy; I wish the city would at least mill and overlay that section so the entire corridor would be nice and smooth.

Columbia Road/24th Avenue - This busy intersection has always been one of the most confusing and dangerous in the city. This is probably the biggest street construction projects of the year and I'm guessing it still has a ways to go. By the way, am I the only one who is frustrated that all of the street lights around this intersection have been turned off all summer long? Do they really have to turn off the lights just because they are reconstructing the intersection?

40th Avenue South - It looks like this project still has a ways to go. When completed, motorists will be able to drive on 40th Avenue from Belmont Road all the way west to Ruemmele Road (south of Kohl's).

62nd Avenue South - Residents who haven't ventured into the far reaches of southern Grand Forks probably haven't realized that a future major arterial for the city, 62nd Avenue South, has been under construction this summer. The avenue received an overlay from Columbia Road all the way east to South Washington Street. I drove on 62nd Avenue this evening...nice and smooth. It is still just a two-lane road and will have to be fully "urbanized" in the near future, but it is in much better shape now then it was this time last year.

I think that's a pretty decent update on most of the larger street projects around the city. Any others?


Coffee Guy said...

The entire neighborhood east of Leevers is undergoing repairs...all the way to the river, so it seems.

Anonymous said...

I disagree, Colunbia Road is a large project. It may be tied up all summer and fall. greenglass4.

Anonymous said...

Im so glad the University Overpass is complete! Between trains and LM Glass Fiber moving their wind turbines, it took forever to get home for lunch somedays. It's a must smoother ride now too.

Anonymous said...

We are still in the middle of a repaving effort of the entire Sunbeam Edition.

I think they are doing a good and fast job with as little disruption as possible.

Jeni.Ann said...

Something that would be nice is if people would stop trying to drive through the Columbia/24th intersection. People, we all know that the section is under construction. We all know that it is going to take a very long time to get through the intersection if everyone drives through there.

This is a major problem for residents in this area, though, because people on Columbia get frustrated with the delay, so they decide to rip through 21st and 22nd Avenue to go around it as fast as they can! Children live in that neighborhood, although yes they are unseen because they are apartment dwellers.

Why not detour up 17th Avenue or sweep around the area on 32nd and other roads? I know I don't bother going through this area except to get home, which is immediately there between 21st and 22nd avenues...