Veterans Boulevard to feature huge upcoming changesFARGO, N.D. (WDAY TV) - It's a part of the metro undergoing a complete transformation right before our very eyes.
FARGO, N.D. (WDAY TV) - It's a part of the metro undergoing a complete transformation right before our very eyes.
And there's no place better to showcase the giant changes coming to Veterans Boulevard than Sanford's monumental groundbreaking ceremony.
There are an estimated 15-thousand people packed into this field just southeast of Interstate 94 and Veterans right now listening to the band Train.
And when everyone leaves, it could be just a preview of what everyday rush hour traffic will look like in this every expanding corridor.
Wade Kline, MetroCog Executive Director: “A lot of our interchanges are built out, and that's where people, businesses want to be, is where the traffic is.”
As the movie Field of Dreams so famously put it, "If you build it, they will come."
Two years ago, an I-94 interchange opened along Veterans Boulevard. Now the corridor will be home to the $541 million 10-story Sanford Fargo Medical Center, the much anticipated Costco, two new West Fargo Public Schools and the new Holy Cross Catholic School.
Along with the other commercial venues, gas stations and private properties are sure to follow.
Kline: “When this thing opened up, I don't think anyone thought it would take much time before it would start to fill up.”
MetroCog Director Wade Kline says the traffic volume along Veterans will likely jump to 30,000 vehicles per-day, making it one of the busiest streets in the area.
Kline: “Really starting to look like 25th street, 45th street, where it's a very heavily traveled 5-to-6 lane, heavily traveled arterial roadway.”
And while much of the road was built in anticipation of a higher volume of traffic, more transportation solutions are in the works.
Kline: “We are definitely going to have a lot of lane capacity in the area but we're not far behind with making sure people can bike and walk in the area. MatBus will be in the area so that someone who doesn't want to or can't drive can get down in that area.”
This medical center isn't expected to open until 2016, while the Costco across the street should be ready for this year's Christmas shopping season.
Kline estimates it will take upwards of $20 million in road construction costs along Veterans Boulevard between now and 2025 to keep up with traffic volume and demand.