Road Construction is Underway - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Road Construction is Underway

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It's not a very long season in North Dakota, but it's an important one. Road Construction is going on all over northwestern North Dakota, and today the Department of Transportation held a press conference to talk about the record breaking work. The DOT is getting started on turning Highway 85 into four lanes, and adding a median. One Williston resident says four lanes will be a life saver.

"It's a great idea, I travel that road all the time. People will die on there if it's not four lanes," says Williston resident Rick Harger.

There are around 270 miles of road construction going on in western North Dakota, with the highway 85 project being the biggest.

"Construction has begun on the first phase from Watford City to county road 16. This first phase of the project is approximately 33 miles and is tentatively scheduled for the fall of 2014," says NDDOT spokeswoman Katie Pizza.

The second phase is coming all the way to Williston, and Pizza says construction will start sometime in 2014. Construction on Highway 85, from 11th street up to Gate Avenue is getting underway.

"This project consists of building a new intersection, paving work, travel lanes relocation, and new traffic signals. Road work will be completed in October, with signals to be operational in march," adds Pizza.

This year, about $400 million are being spent in Northwest North Dakota on road work. That money includes projects that haven't been started yet.

 "The Watford city bypass, located in the southwest side of Watford City, will begin construction this year, with work continuing next year," Pizza says.

Construction and DOT crews are asking the public to slow down and obey all signs in construction zones. Hager says slowing down, so crews can make 85 four lanes is just fine with him.

"When I travel it, will be night and day. It will be clear sailing. There won't be people racing to pass each other," adds Harger.

Speeds in construction zones on 85 have been reduced to 25 m.p.h.

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