Minot State University could open 11th Avenue Northwest to through traffic by mid-November, said Roger Kluck, project director for the 11th Avenue project.
Kluck said the goal is to add an initial layer of paving to the roadway that will make it safe for winter driving, as well as add curbs and gutters. The project wouldn't be completely finished until July 2014, when it would be fully paved and sidewalks would be completed.
The university originally closed 11th Avenue more than a decade ago due to safety concerns, such as the danger to pedestrians crossing the busy roadway through campus.
Eleventh Avenue Northwest, pictured, should be open to through traffic by mid-November.
A few years later, the university began a master plan process that included a proposal to reopen the roadway and restore easier access to the center of the campus.
Brian Foisy, vice president for administration and finance, said the master planners said the closure of 11th Avenue meant that drivers could no longer pull up right in front of a building that hosts a lot of community events, such as Memorial Hall or Hartnett Hall.
The university has been setting aside funding for the past several years to pay for the reopening of 11th Avenue. Kluck said the reopened 11th Avenue will have features that will better ensure the safety of pedestrians. The street will be somewhat more narrow, with more curves, with islands installed at different points, and diagonal parking along the side. There will be a strictly enforced speed limit throughout the winter. People who exceed the posted limit will risk receiving an $80 fine.
There will also be additional parking installed when the project is completed, said Kluck.
Combined with other projects, there will be a net gain of 75 to 80 parking spots in the interior of the campus, which should be much appreciated by students and faculty, as parking has been at a premium, said Kluck, who now works as a consultant with EAPC Architects as well as being the project director.
Kluck also worked on the project when 11th Avenue was closed some 14 years ago. He said the decision at that time was made for valid reasons. However, times have changed and there is now more activity in different areas of campus, especially with the construction of the new Student Wellness Center and the renovation of Swain Hall.