The Ely City Council approved the proposed Avenue F extension modification, located at East 15th Street as part of the NDOT project to increase the safety at the intersection of Aultman and East 15th Street.

After the last council meeting, where several concerns were brought before the City Council about the closure of Avenue F, City Engineer B.J. Almberg came up with a proposal.

“We went back to look at other possible options. The revision to this intersection modifies only two movements and that would be a movement that would go from Aultman Street heading to the northeast and cutting straight across and continuing on down to Avenue F.

“Another move it would restrict would be those coming up Avenue F to Aultman Street, from crossing over to sagebrush gas station,” Almberg said.

After the council meeting with this particular agenda item, the sheriff’s office reviewed all its accident reports for that particular area, and it was discovered 11 accidents in that area in five years have been reported for that area.

“NDOT feels it’s a very unsafe intersection and they are willing to make these improvements as part of the project to try to improve the intersection,” Almberg said. “After the meeting we came up with these options and reached out to the people that have businesses in that area, none of those businesses from last time have a concern this time.”

It was explained that it would look a lot like the intersection by Love’s and McDonald’s, where the curve would keep traffic from crossing over.

Councilman Sam Hanson wanted to table the item to speak with more business owners in that area, but City Administrator Robert Switzer stressed that NDOT is ready to move forward with the project.

Councilwoman Jolene Gardner stated the state highway close that road off, and Almberg stated that he didn’t know that the state would come in and actually close that road, but they want to do something to improve the safety of that road.

Switzer said, “The state engineer did testify before us when we had this item, it’s not in their plans to shut down, they are trying to work with us and that’s why we came back to see what other alternative we have.”

Councilman Kurt Carson said, “I really think that what BJ has come up with is a very reasonable solution. We’re making most the citizens happy, were upgrading it, the safety side of it for sure is being taken into consideration. I don’t see a problem with it.”

Gardner agreed.

Almberg explained that he spoke with John O’Flaherty and Dale Derbidge, who both have businesses on that street, and they were both okay with the new proposal.

Hanson made the motion to approve the modification, and it was approved unanimously.