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Letter to the editor: Overpass would help traffic flow in the city

Last week was the due date for most of us to make our annual pilgrimage to the Stutsman County Courthouse to render our property tax unto Caesar. The city of Jamestown used this time to remind the citizens of some major road projects in our near future. Two of these are the Road Diet and the Interstate 94 overpass.

The proposed Road Diet plan would turn 1st Avenue and 5th Street Northwest into a three-lane road from 8th Street Northwest to U.S. Highway 281 on the northwest side of Jamestown. No doubt this would help the businesses downtown, but this is not the only reason for traffic on 1st Avenue. Main Street or 1st Avenue is one of the main arteries in the city. A lot of the traffic on 1st Avenue is trying to cross town as quickly as possible because the real problem with this avenue actually starts at the 10th Street Southeast river crossing.

The city has spent great time and effort to develop the proposed Prairie Haven Commerce Park or area near Menards. For most of the citizens in Jamestown to get to the new southwest development they need to cross the river at 1st Avenue and 10th Street Southeast. This intersection acts as a giant funnel or choking point for the city and would be in need of some improvements or upgrades. If the Road Diet is perceived to slow traffic on 1st Avenue, it may push more crosstown traffic onto 2nd Avenue Southwest which would also need repair to handle increased use.

The I-94 overpass connecting 17th Street with the new hospital road would aid the traffic flow into the new southwest development. It would create an easier and quicker way for people to access the hospital, businesses and homes that will be built in the area. It would take stress off of the U.S. 281 and 25th Street Southwest intersection, but this overpass project would be a major construction project at great financial cost to the city.

Both of these projects most likely will be built in the near future. These are major undertakings with costs that will take years to pay. A funding source will need to be found instead of laying the burden upon the average working citizen who is already property tax weary.