Eye on Energy: Mountrail County Roads - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Eye on Energy: Mountrail County Roads

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Road construction has been a common sight across the state this summer, and Mountrail County is no exception.

However officials hope all the work will pay off come winter time.

Gary Brode rolled into Stanley to find out what's in store for the future of roads in Mountrail County.

It seems no matter where you are in the Bakken road construction is right down the road.

In Mountrail County, road workers have been quite busy keeping up with the growing economy.

(David Nicoletti, Mountrail County Engineer) "We have approximately 27 million dollars in road construction and this year, at the end of this summer, at the end of this construction season we are going to have approximately 37 miles of additional new pavement."

It's not all new construction however,1.5 million spent in damages from frost loss last season.

With all of the truck traffic, the county found out it was losing a significant amount of gravel, as much as three to four inches, on the county roads.

So a change needed to be made.

(David Nicoletti, Mountrail County Engineer) "We are trying to get asphalt on the roads immediately as they are being constructed. We are applying more stringent standards to compacting the roads by compacting the gravel that is underneath the asphalt."

The old process of road construction would be to build the road bed, place the gravel and then the following year lay the asphalt but the new is quality over quantity.

(David Nicoletti, Mountrail County Engineer) "So rather than doing twelve miles of dirt road, then aggregate and coming back the next year and doing twelve miles over top of that whole stretch, me may do three miles of dirt aggregate and asphalt and then three miles of dirt aggregate and asphalt and if that is all that we can get done in one year then we will save the remaining six miles for the following year."

This new way of construction will begin next year.

It's never too early to talk about winter preparations.

The county is in the process of buying a new plow truck, but don't plan on stopping there.

Next year the county plans on purchasing two more plow trucks along and are currently building a 100 x 60 foot sand salt containment facility on the Mountrail County Complex.

Nicoletti, who started working for Mountrail on April 1st, knows the keeping the road conditions in good quality will be a challenge.

(David Nicoletti, Mountrail County Engineer) "The roads that were existing up here were primarily built years ago for agricultural use. With the advent of the oil industry and increased oil activity, they don't stop during the winter time."

Nicoletti, , says the county plans to add more employees.

It may seem like a lot of construction but until everything is complete road work will keep moving forward.

In Stanley, Gary Brode, KX News.

Nicoletti says Mountrail County is also considering a sticker system for oil trucks, much like Williams County.

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