DOT Proposes Plans for Western ND

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When the current road plan was drawn up, legislators had no idea they were about to head into an oil boom.

Now, the North Dakota Department of Transportation is playing catch up.

During the boom, traffic in oil impacted counties increased by 71 percent.

"You talk to people out there and they're feeling some relief from that rapid growth rate, there's still an awful lot of traffic moving on the system," said Grant Levi, director of the North Dakota Department of Transportation.

That traffic puts an immense amount of stress on the roads. Projects like the Dickinson bypass and the Watford City bypass have helped relieve some of those issues.

"The transportation improvements we have been able to do with the resources you have provided us have enhanced and restored the quality of life in the Watford City area and other communities," Levi said.

The state Department of Transportation presented its projects to the energy development and transmission interim committee at the capitol Wednesday.

"We've all got to be patient, but the county road system is now matching up with what your plan is and so, I think in another couple of bienniums it's going to look pretty good out there," said Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson.

The state will spend nearly $1.5 billion on road work in the western part of the state between 2015 and 2017.

If you'd like to keep track of the Department of Transportation's projects, you can go to gis.dot.nd.gov/external/ge_html/?viewer=constmap.