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Helmut Schmidt, Published August 24 2013

WF official: Drivers should avoid Veterans Boulevard during back-to-school

WEST FARGO – A city official urges anyone going to and from Liberty Middle School and Sheyenne High School for Tuesday’s first day of school – and for a few weeks after – to allow more time on their commutes until construction on Veterans Boulevard is done.

Other drivers who have detoured around Veterans Boulevard this summer are urged to continue to stick with those detours a bit longer.

“We’re all unsure how much traffic it will be. Just allow yourself a little more time,” said Chris Brungardt, assistant director of Public Works for West Fargo. “If you’re used to taking a detour, continue to take that detour for a couple of weeks until we open up all the lanes.”

Brungardt said Veterans Boulevard, which was widened to four lanes between 32nd and 40th avenues south, was rated for 12,000 cars a day with two lanes. But it’s still not known how much congestion will come with having two schools open at once.

“It really matters where you’re coming from. We’ll have access available for (the schools) off of Veterans,” Brungardt said.

Sheyenne High School students and parents must use Veterans Boulevard to drive to the school to enter and exit the parking lot and drop-off/pickup loop, Principal Greg Grooters said.

The bus loop and staff parking is on the south side of Sheyenne, accessed off 40th Avenue South.

There are several options to get to Liberty. Drivers can access the east side student drop-off/pickup loop and parent parking lot by way of Veterans Boulevard and 36th Avenue South.

They also can go south on 4th Street East to the traffic loop and take 36th Avenue South, and go east to the dropoff/parking area.

“Fourth Street East and 36th Avenue South are both collector roadways, so they’re built to have more traffic and move more traffic. We’ll be fine with people on both of those roads,” Brungardt said.

Drivers also can get to Liberty from the south by taking 40th Avenue South and turning north on Seventh Street East, then taking a right onto the two-way road on the south side of Liberty that runs into the east lot.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583.