2020 Main Street Project Intended to Reduce Speeding

On June 4, the Mandan City Commission approved a plan for improvements to Main Street to occur next year. The core downtown area from 10th Ave NW to Collins Ave will be reallocated from four- to three-lanes, with parking added to the south side of the street. A traffic study showed that the 85th percentile of traffic in the project area is going 10 mph or more over the speed limit. The goal of the project is to improve safety.

Mayor Tim Helbling noted, “I’ve walked on Main Street a lot recently and it’s not a great feeling when you’re on the sidewalk and see a truck speeding down the road just feet away from you. We need to do something to slow the traffic down and make this part of town more walkable.”

The project also includes:

  • Curb bulb-outs on the north side of Main Street and streetscape improvements between Fourth Ave NW and Collins Ave
  • including stamped/colored concrete, street trees, trash receptacles, and pedestrian sidewalk lighting; and
  • Pedestrian crossings with a flashing beacon will be added at First and Fourth Avenues NW.

Other Main Street improvements. Main Street concrete repair will also be completed from the Heart River Bridge east to Twin City Drive and traffic signals will be replaced from 10th Ave NW to 6th Ave NE where warranted and will include updated video detection equipment and interconnection technology for better synchronization. More information on the traffic signal replacement project is available here.

Differences between Mandan’s Main Street and Bismarck’s Main Avenue. There was discussion during the meeting about how Mandan’s Main Street project differs from Bismarck’s Main Avenue project:

  • Striping confusion should be minimized since traffic lanes will match up to the current pavement joint lines.
  • Mandan will only have three traffic signals in the subject area, whereas Bismarck has traffic signals at almost every intersection in their project area as well as train crossings that add to the situation.
  • Bismarck averages a little over 3,000 more cars per day in its downtown project area compared to Mandan's core downtown project area.

Project cost. The total cost of all project components, including the traffic signal replacement and concrete repair, is estimated just under $3 million, but is mostly funded through federal and state grants with a 10% local share coming in around $324,000. The project is set to be bid in October 2019 with construction in 2020.

More information. The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) has created a webpage dedicated to the 2020 project, visit the page by clicking here. A recording of the June 4 City Commission meeting is available through Dakota Media Access, which can be viewed by clicking here. The presentation begins at the 0:10:15 mark. Some questions are answered during the presentation, but discussion takes place at the 0:37:28 mark and ends at 0:58:25.