The biggest road construction year in state history has started.
Among the road construction projects in Western North Dakota, four truck bypasses are under construction.
Jennifer Kleen has the update on the heavily populated roads out west.
Construction season has begun.
The North Dakota Department of Transportation is investing $800 million dollars into roadways this summer.
(Katie Pizza, NDDOT Media Relations) "Making it one of the DOT's biggest years."
Highway 85 from Watford City to Williston is the biggest project.
When complete, the well traveled portion of Theodore Roosevelt Expressway will have four lanes of traffic with paved medians in some areas.
Phase one from Watford City to County Road 16 is now under construction - it's down to two lanes of traffic with reduced speeds.
Phase two from County Road 16 to Williston will include the replacement of the Lewis & Clark bridge over the next couple of years.
The DOT is waiting for environmental clearance.
The Williston end of the Highway 85 project meets up with the next construction zone.
Phase one of the Williston Truck Reliever Route will have reduced traffic speeds through July with one lane in each direction at the four mile corner southwest of Williston
(Katie Pizza, NDDOT Media Relations) "You can see that that will be utilizing the temporary truck reliever route to connect back into 2 & 85 so this is the spot that it's impacting drivers most right now."
Work on phase two has begun and phase three will go to bid later this month.
Two lanes will be done this fall and the four lane 13-mile project will be complete in 2015.
The Williston bypass is estimated to cost more than $162 million.
The Williston bypass is a part of the $409 million being invested in truck bypass routes in western North Dakota.
Bypass projects in Watford City, New Town, and Alexander have broken ground, expected to be complete this fall.
The Watford City Southeast project will connect with the Southwest bypass - both four lanes - for a total of $130.8 million.
DOT Director Grant Levi says nearly 3,900 trucks travel through Watford City each day --- and another 3,500 trucks pass through New Town.
The New Town bypass is a two lane, 3.2 mile project around the northeast of New Town for $25 million - complete in November.
Construction on 1804 through New Town has also started and main street construction will begin next year.
The Alexander truck bypass will re-route US Highway 85 to the west of Alexander --- four lanes of traffic for 3.7 miles at $28 million.
In Williston city limits, the 18th Street underpass project has started - which will allow Highway 2 traffic to pass OVER 18th Street.
A temporary traffic signal has been placed at Highway 2 and Box elder --- the temporary detour for the project will be complete this year.
In total, the 2013 and 2014 construction seasons represent the largest road construction programs in state history, with more than $1.6 billion in bids for roadway projects this biennium --- constructing a more accessible future in North Dakota.
Jennifer Kleen, KX News.
For the most up to date information visit www.NDDOT.gov.