Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Grand Forks-East Grand Forks MPO?

The Grand Forks-East Grand Forks Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is a non-profit entity serving as a forum for public officials, citizens, and other interest groups to establish policies and plans to deal with various metropolitan issues. Learn more at: theforksmpo.org


What is a Long-Range Transportation Plan?

A Long-Range Transportation Plan sets forth the direction and strategies to help shape a region’s transportation network. It considers streets and highways, transit, and pedestrians and bicycles to help set priorities for the future. It evaluates current and future transportation needs for all of these modes. Transportation funding and project prioritization are considered in the plan’s implementation element. Public input into the planning process is essential to plan development.

This process is focusing on the street and highway elements of the Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP). The transit and pedestrian/bicycle elements are being addressed separately.


Who is working on the plan?

The street/highway plan update process is being led by the Grand Forks-East Grand Forks Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), in partnership with the North Dakota Department of Transportation, Minnesota Department of Transportation, City of Grand Forks, City of East Grand Forks, Grand Forks County, Polk County, Federal Highway Administration, and Federal Transit Administration.

A consultant team led by Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. with WSB & Associates, Inc. is working on the street/highway plan update. Residents and other stakeholders will be engaged to provide input on plan development.


Why are we doing this?

Simply, it’s time to update the plan. The Grand Forks-East Grand Forks MPO adopted its previous plan, the 2040 LRTP, in 2013. Federal law requires metropolitan areas to have an LRTP that is updated every five years or sooner. In order for future transportation projects in this metropolitan planning area to be eligible for state or federal funding, they must be a part of the adopted LRTP. Updating the plan gives the MPO an opportunity to revisit its needs and priorities for future transportation system investments. This plan will also address new federal guidance and current goals and objectives.


What modes of transportation does the plan consider?

The 2045 LRTP will consider transit, pedestrians and bicycles, and streets and highways. This update process is focusing on the streets and highways elements of the plan.


What is performance-based planning?

Performance-based planning is the use of goals, objectives, performance measures, and performance targets to prioritize investments in a region and evaluate whether those investments are meeting the needs of the users. The federal government requires that MPOs complete LRTPs using a performance-based approach (via the FAST Act ).


What are goals, objectives, performance measures, and performance targets?

Goals, objectives, performance measures, and performance targets are foundational to long range transportation planning because they guide the course of the plan. Goals are the general planning concepts that the LRTP will address (like safety or congestion reduction). Objectives are the ways by which the goals will be achieved. Performance measures and targets are benchmarks to evaluate and quantify progress towards the goals.


What are we doing now?

The 2012-2013 Street/Highway Plan defined a set of goals, objectives, performance measures, and performance targets that all projects and improvements in the MPO are evaluated against. Federal legislation requires that certain performance measures be included in long range planning and that region-wide targets are evaluated annually. Since the last plan, federal legislation has changed, and there are now new rules dictating what measures are required. A part of this plan will be to update the goals, objectives, measures, and targets to be consistent with federal requirements, reflect changes in the transportation network, and include needs identified by the community in performance criteria.


What projects are already programmed to be completed?

According to the 2017-2020 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, key projects to be completed between 2017 and 2020 include:

  • Kennedy Bridge Rehabilitation (2017)
  • South Columbia Road 2 to 5 Lane Expansion and New Signal (2017)
  • South Columbia Road Turn Lanes at 17th Avenue South (2017)
  • 42nd St Reconstruction (University to US2) (2018)
  • Central Avenue Multi-Use Trail (2018)
  • Rhinehart St Reconstruction (2018)
  • EGF Point Bridge Mill & Overlay (2018)
  • 32nd Avenue Corridor Safety Improvements (2019)
  • Demers Avenue (Columbia Rd/30th St.) Traffic Signal/Turn Lanes (2019)
  • Demers Avenue Reconstruction/Expansion (2019)
  • Downtown GF Demers Avenue Reconstruction/Mill & Overlay (2019)
  • Gateway Drive/55th Street Traffic Signal/Turn Lanes (2020)
  • University Avenue Mill & Overlay (2020)

How does this impact me?

The street/highway element of the 2045 Long-Range Transportation Plan will identify system recommendations for the entire Grand Forks-East Grand Forks MPO area. Some of these may modify the physical environment (change the way streets work or what’s on them), and some may affect policies and future planning.


How can I help or get involved?

Check out the Participate page for more information on how to get involved and to provide your input on the plan.