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Dave Olson, Published February 01 2011

Chamber wants I-94 ramps to reopen

The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce has thrown its weight behind a push to reopen Interstate 94 ramps closed when a new interchange opened at 34th Street in south Moorhead.

“Our top consideration is the adverse effect of the closure of this ramp on the Moorhead business community,” said Chamber President Craig Whitney.

“Access to Moorhead’s industrial park and downtown area from I-94 has been greatly hindered,” Whitney added.

Late last year, the Moorhead Business Association issued a similar statement, arguing that closing the ramps decreased safety in the area.

The Moorhead City Council recently directed staff to work with state and federal highway officials to find a way to reopen the ramps, which closed because the Federal Highway Administration has a rule barring interchanges from operating within a mile of each other.

Moorhead officials want two ramps from the old interchange rehabilitated and returned to service because of how useful they are to the Moorhead Menards store and the original Moorhead industrial park.

Also, traffic on the interstate traveling to and from those areas must now stop at railroad tracks it did not have to contend with in the past.

In a written statement supporting opening of the old ramps, the chamber said traffic, including fuel trucks, is being forced to use residential streets not constructed for such use.

The chamber urged Moorhead officials to improve I-94 signs to add references to Moorhead’s business district and original industrial park.

“For the sustainability and prosperity of the Moorhead business community, and frankly the safety of residents, we need to expedite the resolution of this issue,” Whitney said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555