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Potential bridge could increase traffic in quiet neighborhoods

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GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ)--Thousands of people in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks could soon have a new route to work, but the plan could send more traffic into quiet neighborhoods.

Traffic in Grand Forks is expected to get worse.

“It would probably be nice. But I don't think we really need another bridge,” said Grand Forks resident, Megan Rubbert.

"Just because the town is growing, but I don't think we need one right this minute."

City leaders agree, there needs to be another bridge connecting the communities of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks--but what they don’t agree on is where to put it.

They have four potential connection spots around town -- two, they say, would be more used than the others.

On 24th Avenue South, city leaders say as many as 8 thousand cars could be driving each day.  

"The 8,000 cars by far are local vehicles going back and forth,” said Earl Haugen, of the Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Thousands of cars that would fill a quiet neighborhood.

"I have kids and we live on a corner,” said Rubbert.

"I don't have to worry about traffic too much. But if there's going to be that many more cars then yeah I'd be a lot more worried."

And it's not just on 24th Avenue South.

Nearby -- 32nd Avenue South could see a similar boom in traffic.

The Metropolitan Planning Organization's leaders say fewer people will use other crossings .

"The further south you go  the less local traffic the new bridge will attract,” said Haugen.

Haugen plans to speak to the East Grand Forks City Council tonight about how the bridge project can move forward.

"Seeing if there's a way to narrow down locations for that local traffic bridge,” said Haugen.

But neighbors living on 24th Avenue South say more cars could mean trouble for their little ones.

"No one really pays attention when there's that much traffic around,” said Rubbert.

MPO leaders say construction on the project is five to 10 years away.