After an assessment of traffic flow this morning for the opening day of Farm Technology Days, the three-day road closure for Lincoln Avenue at McMillan Street (Viaduct) will be closed only from 7 -11 a.m.
Originally, the closure extended to the three days of the event, until July 12. The morning closure is to accommodate the peak influx of visitors to the community.
“Lincoln Avenue (Viaduct) could not have supported an increase of traffic to this extent attending this event,” said Tom Turchi, City Engineer. “There was some concern that if a large piece of equipment attending this event would get wedged under this bridge, traffic back-ups and delays would be disastrous. Therefore, it was necessary to direct traffic to Central Avenue then to 14th Street.”
The majority of road closures are announced via press release, with additional steps taken when access to a property is disrupted or removed for construction projects. In that case, individual notice would be given to the property owner by using staff on site or through public information meetings, he said.
Steps were taken to accommodate the major influx of traffic to the city during Farm Technology Days, an estimated increase of 400-500 vehicles per hour. After observing traffic on Tuesday, Turchi believes that it is in excess of 500.
“A dozen or so traffic signals were reprogrammed with special timings to accommodate the increase in traffic volumes,” he said. “Even with these programmed changes, we saw a traffic backup more than 1.3 miles on 14th Street then on Central Avenue.
While an increase in traffic is expected during the evening as visitors leave the event site, this will occur over a larger time frame.