Berthold: Possible Overpass on Highway 2 - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Berthold: Possible Overpass on Highway 2

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The traffic count on U.S. Highway 2 near Berthold has tripled in five years.

According to the North Dakota Department of Transportation website, more than 75-hundred vehicles traveled highway 2 near Berthold last year, 20 percent of that traffic was considered commercial.

But Highway 2 is not the only Berthold route experiencing an increase in traffic.

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe branch line crosses Highway 2.

The currently existing frac-sand rail-loading facility northwest of Berthold will be adding two trains and a second round-about has been approved directly west of the existing facility.

Berthold Mayor Alan Lee says that could mean up to six 100-car trains crossing the highway every day.

...

There is also a project approved on the south side of the highway that would add a curved track to re-route trains.

Lee says the curve and the two circle tracks require slower speeds, which could back up highway traffic for longer periods of time.

He is asking the DOT and the state legislature for solutions which may include a Highway 2 overpass.

(Mayor Alan Lee, City of Bertold) "It's a lot of money. An overpass is a very expensive item. Now, whether they can get Burlington Northern to cooperate?... Enbridge paid the whole bill on putting the third lane in there. They can certainly cooperate with the DOT and help recognize the issues and the concerns that we have. The western legislators are already very aware of this crossing and the impact that more trains will have."

BNSF spokesperson Amy McBeth says the company is committed to safety and they will continue to be in conversation with community leaders.

However, in terms of an overpass on Highway 2, she says the primary funding would likely be provided by a road authority.

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