South Forks Bypass Coalition Bridge Petition
The Kennedy and Sorlie Bridges between Grand Forks and East Grand Forks are scheduled for rehabilitation / replacement within 3-5 years. This process will cause considerable disruption not only to local residential traffic, but to regional industrial commercial and agricultural truck traffic which will be constricted through intercity streets not designed for such traffic flow. It will also adversely effect public safety traffic such as law enforcement, ambulance, etc..
The Grand Forks/East Grand Forks permanent flood protection system not withstanding, safe intercity traffic is also compromised during times of high flooding when existing bridges are closed. Such closures often limit traffic to only the Kennedy Bridge on Hwy 2. When that bridge is forced to close, emergency traffic must cross either several miles south at the Thompson / Crookston bridge or several miles north at the Oslo, MN bridge.
There is an ongoing need for the the routing of heavy agricultural and industrial traffic off inner-city routes presently shared with residential traffic. This will improve efficiency of traffic flow, keep hazardous industrial and agricultural truck loads away from residential areas and save excessive wear on the infrastructure of the two cities.
In order to provide for and maintain safe and efficient traffic flow between and within Grand Forks, ND and East Grand Forks, MN, now and for decades into the future, we the undersigned indicate our desire for officials from both North Dakota and Minnesota to meet and plan for the earliest possible time to construct a bridge at the Merrifield Road site as determined in the official 2005 study.