“The State of North Dakota and the City of Fargo have invested $28 million to transform Main Avenue into a safe, accessible, and beautiful passageway to and through the heart of downtown,” Panos said. “This two-year project would not have been possible without the collaboration of the NDDOT Fargo District engineers, City of Fargo engineers, project managers, consultants, prime contractor, and sub-contractors. Their individual and team efforts led to this project being complete a month ahead of schedule.”
The $28.6-million two-year makeover of Main Avenue in downtown Fargo is a joint project between NDDOT and the City of Fargo. The project improved 50 to 60-year-old underground infrastructure and an aging driving surface, while improving the pedestrian experience through this downtown corridor.
“Main Avenue truly is the heart of Fargo’s roadways, and offers the first impression of Fargo to many of our visitors. This improved accessibility is a win-win for residents living near Main Avenue, for visitors looking to access the downtown neighborhood and, of course, for our business community,” Mahoney said.
The contractor, Dakota Underground, finished over a month ahead of schedule. The 2020 project improved roadway conditions and underground utilities through the Main Avenue corridor between Broadway and University Drive. Additionally, the project added 50 on-street parallel parking spaces on both sides of the street. This section of roadway will now operate as a three-lane arterial road between Broadway and 9th Street, transitioning into a four-lane section between 9th Street and 11th Street, and a five-lane section west of 11th Street. A counterflow lane was also added on University Drive between Main Avenue and NP Avenue North to offer another north railroad underpass crossing.
Motorists also benefit from the dynamic messaging system that has been installed to alert drivers that a railroad crossing will soon be initiated and allow drivers to make the decision to use one of the three underpasses prior to the railroad crossing instead. The overhead signs are installed on the north side of the Main Avenue Veterans Memorial Bridge, west of University Drive on Main Avenue to urge motorists to take the new counterflow lane on University, and just before 10th Street, allowing drivers to take the underpass to avoid any delays.
“A big thank you to all of our subcontractors. They were all instrumental in completing this project ahead of schedule. It truly was a team effort,” said Bob Nelson, Project Manager for Dakota Underground. “We also want to thank the public and businesses located throughout the Main Avenue corridor for their patience and collaboration over the past two years. We think the traveling public, both motorist and pedestrians, will find ease of use and look forward to everyone enjoying the newly reconstructed roadway.”
Fargo Main Avenue (US Highway 10) is part of the NDDOT Regional Highway System and serves as an arterial connection between West Fargo, Fargo, and Moorhead. Constructed in the 1950s, this full stretch of Main Avenue is one of the oldest roads in Fargo.
In 2019, the first year of reconstruction work improved the roadway between the Red River to Broadway intersection. This section of Main Avenue currently operates as a three-lane arterial road with upgraded pedestrian facilities, 78 on-street parallel parking spaces, and a two-lane roundabout at the 2nd Street South intersection.