ND Construction Season to Also Help Non-Oil Roads - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

ND Construction Season to Also Help Non-Oil Roads

McKenzie, ND -

It is sure to be a busy construction season once the weather clears up.

The Department of Transportation has 327 total construction projects being bid this year.

Of those 327 projects -- 127 are in the west and 200 are located in central and eastern North Dakota.

So while there has been a lot of focus on sending money to oil country to fix beat up roads there, some say there are roads in non-oil areas that are just as bad...

"This is what we have been driving on since October, not maintained, not bladed, right here," says McKenzie Rancher John Marquart.

Every day is a bumpy road for John Marquart.

"I've complained about this road for 4 + years," says Marquart.

And he's fed up.

"Absolutely ridiculous, it's so rough," Marquart adds.

This is 249th Street NE in Burleigh County, just northeast of McKenzie and he has seen ruts 16-18 inches deep.

Marquart says, "we've got roads right here, 17 miles from Bismarck that are no better, than the ones in western ND."

Just like in oil country, this road also sees heavy truck traffic.

It's the gateway to two gravel pits that sit across from each other.

"I'm going to speed up to 35 to show you how ridiculous it is."

Marquart says he never drives this fast because it is too abusive on his vehicle.

But he says speed has contributed to the poor conditions.

The road has a 40 mile per hour limit... He says trucks rarely go the speed limit -- or are aware of it.

This sign just south of one of the gravel pits is completely faded.

"Every day you hear about how every other state is the envy of the nation. They should come drive our roads. I would be ashamed to show these roads to out of state people," says Marquart.

While Burleigh County road crews are out here, he says he doubts the work will make much of an improvement.

"Too heavy of loads, with too much speed bottom line," says Marquart.

Good news for Marquart and others dealing with poor road conditions in central and eastern North Dakota, the legislature approved two bills totaling $220 million for jobs in non-oil counties.


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