Project: I-94 & South University Drive Interchange Project
Starting Monday, May 14, the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) Fargo District and City of Fargo will begin one of the major arterial road improvement projects occurring this summer. This project will completely reconstruct South University Drive between 18th Avenue South and the north side of the I-94 bridge as well as ramp and pedestrian improvements. Project work is slated to be complete in mid-September.
Monday traffic impacts will start by 6 a.m. when contractors will reduce the driving lanes from six to four lanes on South University Drive. The westbound I-94 off-ramp will have a lane reduction as well. Crews will be removing the median near the I-94 bridge to 18th Avenue South during the first week of work.
“Keeping traffic moving and open with two lanes in each direction through the work zone is the goal through the project work,” said Kevin Gorder, assistant district engineer for NDDOT Fargo District. “Drivers will see crews shift traffic right away multiple times from outside driving lanes to inside driving lanes for removals and then we’ll have two longer phases until early fall.”
Project work will be over multiple phases and will include:
- An additional lane on the westbound off-ramp
- Pedestrian grade separation under the westbound I-94 on-ramp in the northwest quadrant of the interchange
- Intersection reconfiguring on the east side of University at 21st Avenue South
- New sidewalk and the replacement of the existing street lights and traffic signals
“University Drive is the backbone of Fargo’s city roadway network. The purpose of this project is to address pavement conditions, driveway access control, and pedestrian and bicyclist safety.” said Jeremy Gorden, transportation division engineer for City of Fargo. “The construction will be concentrated on South University Drive, however, during the morning and evening rush hours there will be congestion that may spill onto I-94. We’ll be monitoring this and will be adjusting our signal timings accordingly.”
Gorder shares a safety reminder, “We understand the desire to quickly get from Point A to Point B. We want to make sure your route is safe, and drivers can help us by making good choices. Motor vehicle crashes are preventable by wearing a seat belt, pledging to drive distraction free and keeping your speeds to the posted limits in this work zone.”
Speeds will be reduced to 25 mph. If alternative route is available, motorists are encouraged to use these routes to help those traveling through or turning into driveways found in the work zone
QUICK FACTS – Project Work Mid-May – Mid-September
Work zone limits:
US 81 (South University Drive) – 21st Avenue South to 18th Avenue South in Fargo
Work zone length:
Less than half-mile surrounding the I-94 interchange
Traffic control: In both directions –
- South University Drive and I-94 will remain open
- Lane reductions will occur on South University Drive
- Overnight I-94 ramp closures will occur, 9 p.m. – 6 a.m. Posted detour will be via 25th Street South.
Additional project work:
- New roadway and center medians
- Install reinforced concrete box culvert
- Storm drainage improvements
- Upgrade lighting and traffic signals
- First phase: Remove curb and gutter and install temporary pavement in the median. Two lanes of traffic will be maintained in each direction.
- Second phase: Reconstruct east half of South University Drive while maintaining two lanes of traffic in each direction. There will be short periods when traffic is restricted to one lane in each direction.
- Third phase: Reconstruct west half of South University Drive while maintaining two lanes of traffic in each direction. There will be short periods when traffic is restricted to one lane in each direction.
- Fourth phase: Reconstruct the center median and build new cross-traffic center median. Two lanes of traffic will be maintained in each direction.
Work on the south side of I-94 will be completed as resources allow and the pedestrian underpass will be built during multiple phases of the project.
When project work is complete:
- South University Drive will be three-lane driving lanes plus interstate turning lanes in each direction
- Safety improvements will increase the interest in use of the interchange and reduce conflict points
- One driveway will be consolidated in the project work, otherwise all other business access and parking lot driveways will remain on South University Drive
Daily Traffic Counts:
2015 South University Drive
2038 South University Drive
NDDOT is funding the project with majority of federal and state funds totaling $4.9 million. The City of Fargo is participating by funding the infrastructure improvements and storm sewer upgrades.