Toward Safer Highways - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Toward Safer Highways

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It's a record year for road construction in North Dakota.

The Department of Transportation reports there will be almost 900 million dollars spent on highway work - up from 590 million dollars last year.

And a majority of the increase is being spent in western North Dakota in an effort to make highways safer in the oil patch.

A top project is the four-laning of Highway 85 between Watford City and Williston.

The DOT has found that stretch has the highest traffic count in the region.

In addition, there are several truck bypass routes either under construction or in the planning stage.

The Williston northwest bypass will be finalized - and a second bypass on the northeast side of town is in the works.

There are also bypasses coming for Alexander, Watford City, New Town, Dickinson, and Killdeer.

(Dave Leftwich, ND Department of Transportation) "When you go through a town a number of things happen. One is a kind of a bottleneck for the trucks and it's a big safety issue for the city itself. A lot of these roads go by schools, hospitals, and pedestrians in general - local people using the streets. So what it does is it gets the trucks out and they're happy to be out of town, and creates a much safer environment."

Leftwich says you'll also see work along Highway Two this summer as crews add more turning lanes to the highway.

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