A study is underway to identify an alternative route for U.S. Highway 83, which would allow vehicles — especially trucks — to bypass State Street’s commercial area north of Interstate 94 in Bismarck.

The Highway 83 Alternative Study area is designated within the expanse of Highway 83 to the west, I-94 to the south, N.D. Highway 36 to the north and N.D. Highway 14 to the east.

The purpose of the study, according to the Bismarck-Mandan Metropolitan Planning Organization, is to:

• Identify, evaluate and develop viable highway alternatives along Highway 83 north of Bismarck to best serve existing and future stakeholders within the region.

• Analyze potential new routes for regional traffic and identify operational improvements for the State Street corridor.

• Analyze anticipated outcomes of the Highway 83 realignment on Bismarck and Burleigh County, such as safety, congestion and commerce.

The MPO is seeking public input in regards to the study. The first of three open house meetings is slated for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Capital Electric Cooperative, 4111 State St., with presentations at 5:45 and 6:45 p.m.

The public is welcome to attend the open house, which is being conducted by the MPO, city of Bismarck, Burleigh County, North Dakota Department of Transportation and SRF Consulting Group Inc. Those in attendance will learn more about the study and have the opportunity to provide feedback.

“I think the public will be interested to hear what the consultants have to say,” said Steve Saunders, executive director of the MPO. “We also want the public’s feedback.”

If unable to attend the meeting, feedback can be submitted through the study’s website, www.hwy83altstudy.com, or by calling 701-595-0526.

The total cost of the study, which was approved in February 2017, is $285,000, with the cost share as follows: $228,000 - federal, $28,500 – NDDOT and $14,250 (each) - Bismarck and Burleigh County.

For more information, visit www.bismarcknd.gov/mpo.

(Reach Cheryl McCormack at 701-250-8264 or cheryl.mccormack@bismarcktribune.com.)​

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General Assignment Reporter