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DOT to present proposed bypass routes at forum

Posted 6/06/12 (Wed)

By Lauren Billing
Farmer Staff Writer

The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) is studying both Highways 85 and 23 for improvements around Watford City. The NDDOT is also researching Watford City’s traffic volume in regard to where a truck reliever route should be located.
For Highways 85 and 23, the NDDOT is looking at preliminary engineering that would expand the highway to multiple lanes west and south of Watford City for approximately four miles in each direction.
The evaluation will look at the viability of adding both driving and turning lanes to help relieve congestion coming in and out of town.
The NDDOT and Watford City officials are still working on where a possible truck reliever route can be constructed to move semi-truck traffic around Watford City.
“We are currently looking at eight potential routes for the truck reliever route and are exploring the viability of each option,” says Curt Moen, Watford City city planner.
The NDDOT is not yet set in constructing a truck reliever route for Watford City, however. There is still discussion as to whether a truck reliever route or a bypass would be more suitable.
The current study of traffic volume in and out of Watford City will be factored in as to which option is chosen.
According to Walt Peterson, Williston District engineer, there has been so many changes in the traffic patterns in and around Watford City that the studies concerning highway expansion and bypass planning are related.
“We will study every area of concern in order to develop the best possible solution for everyone affected,” states Peterson.
The NDDOT has scheduled a public input meeting at the Watford City Civic Center at 5:30 p.m. on June 28, where they plan to present their proposed routes and hope to collect input concerning the possible construction. From the information gathered at the meeting and through the study, the NDDOT will be able to narrow down their options to find the best possible solution.