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Chamber Supports Reopening of Moorhead Interchange

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Fargo Moorhead, ND/MN (January 31, 2011) - The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce supports the re-opening of the Highway 52 East Main Avenue/I-94 Interchange ramps.

Chamber leaders have researched the issue and met with several groups of Moorhead business leaders and other constituents, uncovering several issues caused by the closure of the Highway 52 ramp.

“Our top consideration is the adverse affect 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.”

Other issues caused by the closure include:

* Traffic, including fuel trucks, are forced to negotiate residential streets not constructed for such use and subsequently pose safety concerns
* Increased street maintenance costs on residential streets caused by increased and overweight traffic
* A significant increase in traffic on Eighth Street in Moorhead
* Customer inconvenience caused by poor access of businesses
* Increased difficulty in attracting business to the Moorhead Industrial Park and Downtown Moorhead

“We recognize and appreciate the improved access the 34th Street project has had for the south side of Interstate 94 and for Dilworth,” said Whitney. “But closure of the pre-existing ramps is unacceptable.

In the interim, the Chamber has implored city officials to consider improving the signage along Interstate 94 in Moorhead to add references to Business 94, Downtown and Moorhead Industrial Park at the 34th Street/I-94 Interchange, as well as add Eighth Street to the Moorhead Highway 75 sign at exit 1A.

Karen Lauer, Executive Director of the Barnesville EDA and Immediate Past Chair of the Chamber Board of Directors notes a number of safety concerns with the new configuration.

“When traveling eastbound on Interstate 94 during morning rush hour, because the turning lane is much shorter, the number of vehicles exiting on 34th Street can often back up into the driving lane, creating a significant safety hazard," said Lauer. “This is in addition to the safety concerns that have developed as a result of the heavy volume of traffic at the new railroad crossing just east of Menards.”

“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,” said Whitney.

The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce is a bi-state, regional federation of more than 1,950 private, public and nonprofit members, representing more than 89,000 employees. The Chamber advocates for a strong metropolitan community and supports the interests of its members, which are located in Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo, Dilworth, Cass and Clay Counties and beyond.

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