Bismarck – As the 2019 Construction season wraps up over the next couple of months, North Dakota has made it to the top of another Highway condition report.
For the second straight year, the Reason Foundation, has ranked North Dakota number one in Overall Highway Performance and cost-effectiveness.
The state earned high marks for the condition of our urban interstates — our urban fatality rate — as well as the condition of our rural interstates.
KX News spoke with the DOT, and they tell us the dedication to infrastructure maintenance is paying off.
“Even Though North Dakota is a rural state, we do have about 10-percent of our interstates that are classified as urban interstate, so if you look into the report, it’s based on the percentage of interstates that are in poor condition, so it’s really telling us that we’re doing a pretty good job,” said Steve Salwei: Transportation Program Director: ND DOT
But the news isn’t all good as the state continues to battle what it calls, structurally deficient bridges.
Of the 50 states, North Dakota ranked 43rd, or near the bottom of the list.
The state has more than 48-hundred bridges, and of those, just over 17-hundred are owned by the state with about 300 classified as deficient.
The rest are on a county and city level.
“We are aware, that we do have some challenges, and within the past year, we made a conscious decision to increase the funding on the state system structures by about 75-percent, so we can address more of these state system bridges and get those taken care of,” said Salwei.
He adds the passage of the Prairie Dog Bill, last session– should help remove some of the county and city owned bridges from the structurally deficient list.