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May 28, 2014 09:55 PM

Construction Set To Hinder RibFest Traffic

Orange cones and traffic delays await RibFest goers this weekend. Construction on W. 12th St. over the past month is improving the condition of the concrete on this busy stretch of road.

"Residents have seen us out here. Business owners have seen us out here for the last month working hard with large crews trying to get the project done before the actual fair starts," street engineer Wes Philips said.

The project is a half-mile away from the south entrance to the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds, but RibFest organizers are aware of the expected delays.

"I think it might be more on the exit because if you're going West on 12th St., it's down to two lanes but not for very long. If you're going East on 12th St, it's down to one lane for a little longer period," SMG Marketing Director Rick Huffman said.

Philips says the biggest problems will be during Thursday and Friday's events as commuter traffic and event traffic mix between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

"We will be monitoring it very closely. We have cameras up to take a look at what traffic's doing and hopefully make adjustments to the signals as well as to the traffic control closures," Philips said.

People attending RibFest are advised to use I-29 as much as possible to avoid the construction zone, but there are other options.

"You can always exit North out of the fairgrounds, which would take you up to Madison St. From Madison St., you can go East to Kiwanis, Western, West Ave.," Huffman said.

Huffman says you can come early to beat the traffic to the fairgrounds. If you can't avoid the construction, drivers are asked to be patient.

"Just slow down and watch out for workers and cones and it might be a little frustrating once you come up to a little slowing traffic, but we'll get you moving through in just a few minutes," Philips said.

No construction activity will be taking place along West 12th St. on Saturday or Sunday, so there will be limited traffic concerns during the weekend RibFest activities.

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