Highway 85 Bypass Project is Underway - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Highway 85 Bypass Project is Underway

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The plan to build a truck bypass around three cities in oil country is moving full speed ahead.

The largest road construction project in the state is just getting underway.

Highway 85 will be widened to four lanes and re-route truck traffic around Williston, Alexander and Watford City.

The project costs more than 500 million dollars.

The bypass around Watford City will begin three miles south of town and go around the western side of the city.

Project coordinators say you can not even see the construction right now because it is not easily seen from the existing highway, and they have just started to strip the topsoil for the brand new road.

Something residents are no doubt excited to see once the project is finished is far less truck traffic rolling through town.

"The Watford City bypass, once that is completed all the way around on the U.S. 85 portion, we are expecting somewhere around two to three thousand vehicles a day through town, as opposed to the 10-20,000 thousand that's through there." says Wayne Zacher, Special Project Coordinator, North Dakota Department of Transportation.

The bypass construction project should be finished by fall of 2014.

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