City Leaders Break Ground on New Bypass - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

City Leaders Break Ground on New Bypass

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Believe it or not, there was a point in time when Watford City wasn't overrun with trucks driving through town, and with the help of the state that will be the case again one day soon. State, county, and city leaders were in Watford City today to break ground on one of two phases of a bypass that will reroute trucks around town.

According to the Department of Transportation, there are around 3,700 trucks per day driving through Watford City. The bypass is going to take those semis about three miles away from town.

"I believe that our cries have been heard, I believe the needs are being addressed. Today is one of the most monumental things we could see happening here," says Watford City Mayor Brent Sanford.

Watford City wasn't designed to handle 3,000 plus semis a day driving through town, which creates safety problems on the roadways.

"There will be a tremendous change in atmosphere in the city, when all of those heavy trucks do not have to come through town," says Governor Jack Dalrymple.

The bypass will be four lanes, and tie into Highway 85 west of town. It will take trucks south of the city to meet back up with 85. The first phase of the project will cost $72,000,000, and is being paid for by the state.

"We came out of the legislative session in February with 720 million dollars, available for infrastructure. We wouldn't be standing here today if that wouldn't have occurred," says Department of Transportation director Grant Levi.

Levi says the Governor and legislators are to thank for getting that much money for the DOT. The North Dakota Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner says people in oil country want to get their quality of life and safe roadways back.

"I will tell you, these truck reliever routes, are a step, a huge step, in that direction," says Wardner.

The full bypass will take less than three years to complete.

 "The existing residents can now see a light at the end of the tunnel, having this bypass start contraction. To seeing less trucks on the streets," Sanford added.

The second phase will tie ND 23 bypass into the 85 bypass.

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