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City Council recommends 11th Avenue SE alternative design

The Jamestown City Council held a special meeting Wednesday, June 1.

JSSP City News
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JAMESTOWN – The Jamestown City Council approved 4-1 recommending to the North Dakota Department of Transportation an alternative design to realign 12th Avenue Southeast to the intersection of 11th Avenue and 4th Street Southeast. The alternative realignment design was recommended for proposed improvements to 12th Avenue Southeast from 3rd Street to 6th Street Southeast.

Mayor Dwaine Heinrich was opposed.

The City Council held a special meeting on Wednesday, June 1, because Councilman David Schloegel was not present at the Public Works Committee meeting on May 26 when committee members were split on what realignment design to recommend to the NDDOT for proposed improvements to 12th Avenue Southeast from 3rd Street to 6th Street Southeast. Councilman David Steele also informed the committee May 26 that he would not be present for the City Council meeting on Monday, June 6, when a final decision was expected to be made.

The City Council must decide before June 10 what alternative realignment design it recommends because the city of Jamestown has to submit its recommendation to the NDDOT by that date or it will miss its bidding deadlines from the state agency.

Heinrich said the recommendation submitted does not mean that it will be the final route that will be constructed.

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The city of Jamestown cannot start negotiating with property owners for right of ways until the recommendation is submitted to the NDDOT.

The city of Jamestown, in cooperation with the NDDOT and Federal Highway Administration, is proposing roadway improvements to 12th Avenue Southeast from 3rd Street to 6th Street Southeast. The proposed project consists of reconstructing 12th Avenue Southeast from 3rd to 6th Street Southeast with a potential realignment between 3rd and 5th Street Southeast.

The purpose of the project is to correct the structural integrity of the roadway, improve traffic flows from northeast to southeast Jamestown and minimize safety risks at the existing BNSF railroad quiet zone crossing.

Councilman Dan Buchanan changed his recommendation to the alternative design to realign 12th Avenue at the intersection of 11th Avenue and 4th Street Southeast. During the Public Works Committee meeting Thursday he had previously picked the alternative design to realign 12th Avenue Southeast to 11 1/2 Avenue Southeast and connect to 3rd Street Southeast.

The 11th Avenue Southeast alternative design calls for a new road to be created at the intersection of 12th Avenue and 5th Street Southeast that would curve northwest toward the intersection of 11th Avenue and 4th Street Southeast.

Buchanan said having a paved street on 11th Avenue Southeast saves the city money for an alternative route. He also said he doesn’t want to see westbound vehicles backed up on the left-hand turn to 11 1/2 Avenue Southeast.

Councilmen Brian Kamlitz, Steele and Schloegel also chose the alternative design to realign 12th Avenue Southeast to the intersection of 11th Avenue and 4th Street Southeast.

Steele said the cost is lower for the alternative design at 11th Avenue Southeast than at 11 1/2 Avenue Southeast and there might not be enough room to fit more than two vehicles in the left-hand turn lane for westbound vehicles. He said he doesn’t want to create an issue 20 years later for a different City Council.

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Kamlitz said there will be less square footage to maintain and plow with the 11th Avenue Southeast alternative and trucks will have more room to get up to speed going east on the 3rd Street Southeast hill.

Schloegel said the 11th Avenue Southeast alternative has more space for the left-turn lane for westbound vehicles.

“I also like the idea where having a larger uninterrupted 2.8 acres of land in there could be a better space for a future development of that land,” he said.

Heinrich chose the alternative design to realign 12th Avenue Southeast to 11 1/2 Avenue Southeast and connect to 3rd Street Southeast. Fourth Street would extend east and connect to 11 1/2 Avenue. A new road would be created at the intersection of 12th Avenue and 5th Street Southeast that would curve to the northwest to 4th Street Southeast and then go north to 3rd Street.

Heinrich said he chose the 11 1/2 Avenue Southeast alternative because it is better for development and negotiations of right of way would happen with only one property owner versus two with the 11th Avenue Southeast alternative.

Both options the City Council chose include a cul-de-sac road for access to an electrical business along 12th Avenue Southeast and the city water department’s water tank and station. Both options would also prevent people from turning onto 12th Avenue Southeast near the railroad tracks.

Eighty percent of the project’s cost would be paid by federal and state funds while the local share would be 20%.

The alternative to realign 12th Avenue Southeast to 11 1/2 Avenue Southeast and connect to 3rd Street Southeast will cost more than $1.2 million with the city’s share being $247,800.

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The alternative to realign 12th Avenue Southeast to the intersection of 11th Avenue and 4th Street Southeast will cost more than $1.1 million with the city’s share being $223,000.

Other proposed alternatives included paving 12th Avenue Southeast or not doing the project at all.

Masaki Ova joined The Jamestown Sun in August 2021 as a reporter. He grew up on a farm near Pingree, N.D. He majored in communications at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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