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Ask Joe: Why is NDOT landscaping section of freeway that it's considering tearing down?

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From the ask joe file, a question about some new freeway landscaping you may have noticed.

Richard Jay posed the question on Facebook asking why is NDOT installing landscaping on the I-580 southbound on-ramp by the airport when they are considering getting rid of that overpass right above it, the one that leads to the airport?

Here's what I found out:

The landscaping looks look great and really spruces up that area next to the freeway. The area we're talking about is the ramp as you're getting on the freeway southbound from Plumb Lane. I checked and the state is spending just shy of one million dollars on the landscaping project. The exact cost was $986,000.00. But this is part of the freeway NDOT has proposed getting rid of as part of future Spaghetti Bowl reconstruction. So does that make sense?

I checked with Meg Ragonese over at NDOT about this. She says they are currently evaluating several different options for freeway improvements but nothing is set and Ragonese says because of the way funding is approved the landscaping could remain in place for 5 or 10 years before anything happens there.

I think if it turns out to be five years some people would question whether that's a wise use of taxpayer dollars. But again, nothing is set in stone. NDOT is still reviewing its options which include possibly scrapping that stretch of freeway known as the airport flyover even though the agency just spent close to a million dollars to put in that decorative landscaping.

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