Commission votes to proceed with Bismarck's Main Avenue Project

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BISMARCK, N.D. - We've been talking about the project converting Main Avenue in Bismarck from four lanes to three.

All of the bids for the project came back over the engineer's estimate at the April 23 Bismarck City Commission meeting.

Tuesday, commissioners had to make a choice: they could either accept the bid as is and pay the higher price, or redesign the project.

A significant driver of the higher price-tag was "smart signals" that will change the lights based on traffic flow, rather than the strict timers in place now.
Engineers said that could be pushed down the road, but it has to get done for safety.

"That's a project that we'll need to do either now or some time in the future. If it's the commission's decision to do it in the future that's perfectly fine, but I'll be back asking them to finish this project and make those improvements that I believe would do us a lot of good at some future point," said Gabe Schell, Bismarck city engineer.

The commission voted to go ahead with the project at $1.6 million, $400,000 more than they originally thought they'd pay.