At the early stages of the pandemic, travel on North Dakota roads.. decreased by nearly a third.
As travel rebounds to nearly pre-pandemic levels, weaknesses in North Dakota infrastructure are now being exposed.
Driving on rough roads is costing North Dakotans an average of more than 750 dollars every year in vehicle maintenance. Rocky Moretti of TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation research nonprofit, said, “In the Bismarck area, 34% of major roadways have pavements in poor condition, and another 40% are rated in fair condition.”
Many bridges in the Bismarck area are also in need of some work.
Moretti said, “5% of bridges are rated in poor condition and in need of immediate repair. And another 32% of the region’s bridges are rated in fair condition, and in need of ongoing maintenance.”
The increase of motorists on the road is also increasing the amount of time North Dakotans spend stuck in traffic. This raised awareness for much-needed repairs out on the roadways.
Arik Spencer, the CEO and president of the North Dakota Chamber, said, “Business leaders feel that continued and increased investment in transportation infrastructure is really critical to the future of our state.”
Nearly 200 billion dollars in goods are estimated to be imported and exported on North Dakota roadways. Leaders in agriculture stressed the importance of well-maintained infrastructure.
One such leader, Dan Wogsland, said, “It’s so critically important to have that in an adequate state, so that we can take care of North Dakota agricultural business, and the North Dakota economy.”