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Ask Joe: Can NDOT clear median by the Nugget to make more room on I-80?

From the Ask Joe file, we are looking into a question about getting traffic to move a little faster on a stretch of Interstate 80.

I ran into Todd White, one of our viewers, at the airport last week, and he has a question. He wants to know if NDOT can clear out any of the equipment that's in the median where I-80 runs through the Nugget property.

He wants to know if that stretch could be widened by removing the equipment.

Here's what I found out:

There is some equipment in the median protruding where the interstate passes through the Nugget hotel towers. I was told it belongs to the Nugget, and after a little bit of confusion the Nugget confirmed that.

To the naked eye the equipment looks like it could be part of some type of ventilation system.

I spoke with Meg Ragonese at NDOT about this situation. She said they have been in talks with the Nugget about future changes to that part of I-80. And NDOT has already started the environmental review and community involvement process for the Spaghetti Bowl and that part of I-80 near the Nugget.

That's the good news. The bad news is those reviews take years, and the first priority is the Spaghetti Bowl, so nothing is going to happen near the Nugget anytime soon.

But as far as that median goes, that is the Nugget's property, so part of this process will be working with the new owners of the Nugget to talk about changes.

There will be some public meetings on this topic, and once the dates for those meetings are announced we'll be sure to pass them on to you. Those meetings will be a great chance for anyone to not only learn more the process, but also to speak up about any concerns or ideas you have.

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