The first segment of four-lane traffic on US Highway 85 was opened today.
The $62 million dollar project spans about 14 miles between Watford City and Alexander.
Highway 85 traffic has more than doubled in the last three years.
In 2013, the North Dakota Department of Transportation tracked more than eleven-thousand vehicles per day.
Four-lane traffic on Highway 85 was only an idea three years ago.
Watford City Mayor Brent Sanford called the completion of this segment of highway 'light speed.'
DOT director Grant Levi says it was made possible by Senate Bill 21-76 which made $620 million dollars worth of early construction projects possible for the first time in North Dakota history.
(Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley, (R) North Dakota) "It's a matter of public safety. It's a matter of commerce. And it's an underscoring of our commitment going forward and our vision of what is required for the number one economy in the nation."
The four-lane project includes a 20-foot paved median.
Phase two of the Highway 85 project is currently under construction from Alexander to south of Williston.
Phase three will continue next summer and will include the replacement of the Lewis and Clark Bridge near Williston.