I-94 and University Interchange Improvement Project
The NDDOT oversaw the complete reconstruction of I-94 and University Drive interchange, updates to traffic signals used by interstate traffic and half mile of University Drive roadway. The project reconnected and straightened out the interstate ramps, lengthened the turn lanes and created access control to help with better traffic flow through the area. University Drive is three-driving lanes plus interstate turning lanes in each direction.
The new interchange design creates multi-modal separation, so cars and pedestrians have separation. Safety improvements increased the interest in use of the interchange and reduced conflict points. There was one driveway consolidated in the project work, otherwise all other business/access driveways remain on University Drive.
The first roadway removals began in May and project work was anticipated to be complete in September.
Work Zone Limits:
US 81 (University Drive) – 21st Ave S to 18th Ave, Fargo
Fargo area drivers will encounter six driving lanes on South University Drive from 17th Avenue South to underneath the interchange to 21st Avenue South in both directions by the evening of October 15.
Good weather and warmer temperatures will determine the actual date the new westbound I-94 on-ramp, pedestrian shared-use paths and sidewalks will open on the mainline through the project limits.
Over the next weeks crews will be working hard to take advantage of decent weather to wrap up work in this zone along with other road projects through the metro. Weather permitting, anticipated traffic shifts and project work:
WHAT TO EXPECT WEEK OF OCT 15 – 19:
All six driving lanes will open on the same day
- OPENING – Three driving lanes plus interstate turning lanes in each direction
- OPENING – Northbound median turning lane to west side business driveway
- OPENING – Left-hand turns at 18th Avenue South intersection for both directions
- PROJECT WORK – Crews will continue to work off-line to complete curb, gutter, traffic signals, street lighting, permanent roadway signage and slope protection. Temperatures may allow permanent striping to be placed under traffic for driving lanes and pedestrian crossings toward the end of the week into the following week. The crew will have a moving lane closure around the area of work and use an arrow board to direct traffic.
WHAT TO EXPECT WEEK OF OCT 22 – 26:
Opening of additional sections will be staggered as work is completed
- OPENING – Westbound I-94 on-ramp from South University Drive
- OPENING – Pedestrian crossings and all sidewalk
- PROJECT WORK – Temporary westbound I-94 on-ramp will begin to be removed and area reshaped to carry the remaining section of shared-use path.
To keep traffic moving on a roadway being fully reconstructed, the project was designed into four main phases.
- First phase: Remove curb and gutter and install temporary pavement in the median. Maintain two lanes of traffic each direction – COMPLETE
- Second phase: Reconstruct east half while maintaining two lanes of traffic in each direction. There will be short periods when traffic is restricted to one lane – COMPLETE
- Third phase: Reconstruct west half while maintaining two lanes of traffic. There will be short periods when traffic is restricted to one lane – COMPLETE
- Fourth phase: Construct median with two lanes each direction – COMPLETE
Work on the south side of interstate will be completed as resources allow and the pedestrian underpass will be built during multiple phases of the project.
Need for Project:
- Better accommodate peak hour traffic thru the interchange
- Improve pavement condition
- Help alleviate unnecessary traffic movements
- Shared-use path under the interstate ramp on the northwest side
Most of the project was focused on widening the east part of University Drive, along with:
- Reinforced concrete box culverts
- Medians to control traffic crossing east to west on University Drive
- Shared-use path under the interstate ramps
- Interstate ramps
- Storm drain
- Pavement markings
- City utilities
NDDOT funded the project with a majority of federal and state funds. The City of Fargo will have participating items for infrastructure improvements.
Project cost is $4.9 Million:
- Federal: $4.1 Million
- State: $0.2 Million
- City: $0.6 Million
I-94 and South University Drive Interchange Aerial View
I-94 AND SOUTH UNIVERSITY DRIVE INTERCHANGE IMPROVEMENT PROJECT OVERVIEW MAP
OCT 15 - All Six-Driving Lanes Open to Traffic on South University Drive