Border to Border Road Plan | VideoJoel Porter | 7/23/2012
Russell Walbert, like many drivers working in western North Dakota, is well-versed in the congestion on two-lane roads.
"When you`re right on the shoulder of the road, sometimes even in the grass and the other truck is too and you`re just hoping your mirrors don`t hit each other when you go by."
Drivers like Walbert, along with those who drive those roads every day, may see some relief thanks to a new proposal from the capitol.
"Our economy is doing so well and we do have a great deal of revenue coming in," Dalrymple said.
"The state really is in an enviable position to be able to take care of some of these issues," said Bruce Strinden with the Morton County Commission.
Dalrymple is pitching a $2.5 billion comprehensive plan to award funding to highway improvements around the state.
"I believe that this is the package that can pass the legislature next winter."
Out of the $2.5 billion dollar initiative, more than a billion will go to road and highway investments. However, $100 million will be given to non-oil producing counties.
"You`re not going to ever cure all of these things in one biennium. But this certainly gives you a good start and allows you to really key on some of the critical areas that need attention immediately," Strinden said.
The $2.5 billion would be used in the next biennium. It includes funding for county and township roads as well as grants for oil and gas impacts. And it brings relief to road congestion by expanding a number of highways in western North Dakota. >
The Governor is also suggesting increasing the formula for oil and gas distribution for counties, cities and schools. Currently, those entities receive the first two million dollars of the production tax collections.