Possible southwest route raises neighbor concerns
Residents of the Beaver Creek subdivision weighed in on options for a future arterial roadway south of Minot with objections to a possible truck route through their neighborhood.
An open house was held Thursday in Minot City Hall as part of development of a 20-year transportation plan for Minot. SRF Consulting Group is developing the plan with the city, Ward County and North Dakota Department of Transportation.
SRF Consulting Group set up a number of display boards showing current areas of congestion or other traffic problems and laid out alternatives that could become part of handling traffic flow into the year 2035.
One of the areas where another roadway may be needed is in southwest Minot, to alleviate pressure on 16th Street. Based on input from a previous open house, consultants offered four bypass alternatives that included options going west from U.S. Highway 83 and then north, either cutting through the rural subdivision of Beaver Creek or following a route farther west.
Beaver Creek residents presented a stack of letters outlining their individual concerns.
“We all moved out there for a reason and it’s not to have a truck bypass running through our neighborhood,” resident Al Schall said.
One alternative uses 38th Street, which cuts into the subdivision and would require removal of homes. Another alternative uses 30th Street, which runs on the east side of Beaver Creek.
Brian Shorten with SRF said the residents’ concerns need to be balanced against the need of the city for a reliever route, which could mean establishing the roadway as an arterial with slower speeds than a true bypass. Keeping the roadway to two lanes also would discourage truck traffic.
“There’s going to be trade-offs here,” Shorten said. “We are dealing with some real tough decisions the council is going to have to make. We also have to respect the future needs of the whole system.”
Residents had fewer issues on 30th Street if it involves a two-lane, reduced speed road, particularly if it curves away from the few homes at the south end that face the street.
There’s no timeline for when an alternate route might be built. Consultants explained that there must be funding for design work to begin and that design work could take several years.
Craig Vaughn, project consultant, said he expects there may be a phased approach, with a southwest reliever route being built in sections.
Consultants will review public input and update the plan before holding another open house in late summer.
Written comments will be accepted until May 16. Comments can be submitted to SRF Consulting Group at 1105-16th St. SW, Minot, ND 58701, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .