Predicting The Future of Roads in Oil Country | VideoJennifer Joas | 4/30/2012
The Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute has just five months left to finish the county road study of western North Dakota. Researchers have been working on the study since August and say traffic volumes are constantly increasing.
"A lot of those streets were busy before, but as you add a higher truck percentage to a roadway, congestion does grow. So it is much more congested out there and there are fewer passing opportunities on those rural highways than most people are used to," said Tim Horner, Transportation Learning Network Program Director at NDSU Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute.
They have eight researchers on the job that start by building a computerized network of the route loads. Next they collect data on traffic volumes and conditions. Thirdly, they forecast traffic volumes and route the loads. Finally, researchers predict deterioration and investment needs.
All this will be compiled into a study and turned over to the legislature.
"We are hoping that that will provide enough information for policy makers and legislators to respond to the growth in trucks across the state of North Dakota," Horner said.
At this time researches predict most the oil related traffic will continue on Highways 85, 22, 24 and Highway 2.
Not only are they studying oil related traffic, but also looking at traffic volumes for the agriculture and manufacturing industries.