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Road Construction Begins Monday on Main Avenue in downtown Fargo


  • Current Traffic Pattern Map
    Current Traffic Pattern Map

Zone: Downtown
Project: Main Avenue Reconstruction Project

On Monday, April 13, the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) and the City of Fargo contractors are ready to begin the final phase of the Main Avenue Makeover Road Construction in downtown Fargo. Crews will begin roadway removals and underground work to upgrade existing water main, sanitary sewer system and storm sewer through the 1000 block of Main Avenue.

After 7 a.m. on Monday, drivers can initially expect the first traffic impact to be:

  • A full roadway closure of Main Avenue between east of University Drive to west of 10th Street South Underpass bridge. The overpass will remain open to northbound 10th Street traffic.

Local access will be maintained to all the north side businesses located in the 1000 block of Main Avenue by use of 1st Avenue South to adjacent side streets. Motorists will then cross North or South over Main Avenue via:

  • 10th Street South (overpass frontage road, near the old McDonald’s)
  • 11th Street South or 12th Street South

Pedestrian access to all businesses along Main Avenue will be provided and sidewalk work will not begin until after the roadway is complete. Temporary on-road delineated paths will be used by pedestrians during the sidewalk work.

“Main Avenue is the east-west backbone of the downtown area and Fargo’s city network, and work zones can create changes for us all,” said Joe Peyerl, assistant district engineer, NDDOT. “By working together with our contractors, area businesses and core community groups that use this roadway daily, this will be a corridor that provides a safe and friendly place for all users – vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users – when this project is fully complete.”

Crews are planning to work west to east toward Broadway. The contractor can work on the project phases concurrently with restrictions on days for intersection work. Over the next weeks, motorists should expect additional reduced lanes or full roadway closures of Main Avenue as they move into the next phases of project work. The traffic impacts for the phase work will include:

  • University and Main Avenue intersection (second traffic impact): Intersection will remain open with lane reductions as northbound counterflow lane is built. This phase needs to be complete by early June 2020.
  • Main Avenue between 8th Street to Broadway (third traffic impact): The intersection of 8th Street and Main Avenue will fully close to motorist for up to two months. Business access and pedestrian traffic will be maintained.
  • Main Avenue between 10th Street to 8th Street (fourth traffic impact): The remaining roadway of Main Avenue will be reconstructed west of 8th Street South intersection.
  • 10th Street South Underpass Bridge (last traffic impact): The steel bridge deck under Main Avenue for the 10th Street South underpass will be replaced. There will be short-term lane closures on 10th Street South.

Drivers should plan to use the posted detour route to cross the Red River into Moorhead until project work is complete in mid-October. The posted detour route north of Main Avenue is 1st Avenue North and south of Main Avenue is 1st Avenue South between University Drive to 2nd St S.

Speeds will be reduced to 25 mph where traffic control is present. The NDDOT and the City of Fargo urges motorists to always be attentive, drive with caution and never enter a road blocked with barriers or cones stating, “road closed.”

The two-year makeover of Main Avenue in downtown Fargo is a joint project between the NDDOT and City of Fargo to transform this gateway into a safe, accessible and beautiful passageway to and through the heart of Fargo.

In 2020, the final year of reconstruction work in the downtown area will improve Main Avenue between west of Broadway to east of University Drive, including the addition of a counter flow lane for northbound driving lane on University Drive to detour traffic between Main Avenue and NP Avenue. This lane will remain once construction is complete to add another railroad underpass in downtown.

Last year crews completed the first year of improvements ahead of schedule that improved the roadway, pedestrian facilities and upgrade the underground infrastructure between the Red River to Broadway, including the construction of a two-lane roundabout at 2nd Street South intersection.

When the roadway is complete this fall, Main Avenue roadway will be a hybrid design consisting of a:

  • 3-lane alternative from 2nd Street to 9th Street South, as well as double-lane roundabout at the Main Avenue and 2nd Street South intersection
  • 4-lane section between 9th Street South and 11th Street South
  • 5-lane section west of 11th Street
  • View the future Main Avenue Alternative E: Drive-through Animation

The cost of construction is estimated to be $11.5 million for 2020 project work, totaling about $23 million in improvements over the two-year project. Funding for the project will consist of a combination of federal, state and local assessments.

Constructed in the 1950's, this full stretch of Main Avenue is one of the oldest roads in Fargo. The project will improve 50 – 60-year-old underground infrastructure, an aging driving surface and lessen the pedestrian system gaps through the downtown corridor. The 2019 – 2020 project work from the Red River to University Drive includes:

  • Upgrade existing water main, sanitary sewer system and storm sewer
  • Construction of two-lane roundabout at the 2nd St intersection
  • Replace roadway pavement, traffic signals, street lighting and landscaping features
  • Widen pedestrian facilities on both sides of Main Avenue, with new pedestrian crossings
  • Additional on-street parking
  • Addition of a counter flow lane for northbound driving lane on University Drive to detour traffic between Main Avenue and NP Avenue

During the design phase in October 2018, and after receiving feedback from property owners, the NDDOT and City of Fargo split the scope of work into two separate projects.

Fargo Main Avenue (US Highway 10) is part of the NDDOT Regional Highway System and serves as an arterial connection between Moorhead, Fargo and West Fargo.

There will not be in-person public information meetings held at this time. Regular project updates will be facilitated through Facebook LIVE videos through the start of the project season. Project staff will share more about the progress of the project work and be available to answer questions.

Virtual Meeting Details:

  • WHEN: Biweekly, every other Thursday
  • WHERE: NDDOT Fargo District Facebook page
  • Video updates will be archived to be viewed at any time on the page

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