A transportation study to identify projects for improving traffic flow in Minot could get under way this fall.
The Minot City Council Monday approved an agreement with the North Dakota Department of Transportation to develop and share in the costs of a study, estimated at $250,000. The state would pay 80 percent of the cost.
City engineer Lance Meyer said the first step will be to select an engineer to conduct the study, which could occur next month. The study then could begin this fall. The city anticipates completion in four to six months.
"The goal of the study would be to take a look at our internal road network and identify some issues," Meyer said. The plan will determine what fixes are needed and how they might be funded.
Meyer said the transportation study is important given the rapid growth occurring in the city. The study is expected to provide guidance on the types of changes required in areas such as north Minot, where significant housing construction is taking place. The study will focus on major arterial and collector streets.
Once the study identifies projects and suggests time tables, the city can begin programming the projects into its construction schedule, Meyer said.
The Mayor's Flood Recovery Committee had recommended the city conduct a transportation study.
Residents in northwest Minot say problems already are developing with 27th Street, which has become heavily trafficked through the residential area. Residents attended Monday's meeting to object to a proposed development of 36 homes just north of Seventh Avenue Northwest and west of 27th Street. Access to the development would be on 27th Street.
The planning commission recommended the council deny the project after hearing from neighbors. After hearing from the developer and neighbors, the city council voted 8 to 6 to approve project request of Evergreen Neighborhood Development.
Task Force 21, the base retention committee, presented a report to the council. Greg Power, a former 5th Bomb Wing commander at Minot Air Force Base and now a consultant working with the task force, said the threat of another base closure round is unlikely this year. However, he indicated that the danger of closure still exists down the road.
"The Air Force today has too much infrastructure for the force reduction they have gone through. We have more facilities than we need. They are going to have to take a hard look at what they want to keep open," Power said.
The council ended the meeting in closed executive session to discuss potential litigation and negotiation involving damage to a flooded house owned by Robert and Donna Irwin.