Burleigh County looks at $7 million plan for haul road in McKenzie

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Rocky roads make traveling parts of Burleigh County a challenge. The county is looking at paving one of those roads, 249th Street Northeast near the town of McKenzie.

John Marquart has lived in McKenzie since 1996. Every year, the road outside of his house continues to breakdown. Making it harder and harder for him to travel.

"You'll see people weaving in and out of the roughness when you are driving down the road to try to avoid the roughest spots. To me it's ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous,” said Marquart.

Marquart has tried to get the county to pave the road for more than 10 years. County Engineer Marcus Hall says there's a $7 million plan, but no money yet.

"The only way we could have financed that project is with a loan through the bank of North Dakota. So we've been waiting on a final answer from them on the loan at this point,” said Hall.

The road sees about 300 vehicles a day according to Hall. He adds even if the money comes through and the county gets the easements they need, work won't start any time soon.

"We don't want to do too much more work on it until the springtime if we can get away with that. We monitor it all the time. We've got our operators out there all the time and watching it,” said Hall.

Without building, Marquart says the options are clear if the county wants to see the road make it to spring.

"If you don't want to haul lighter loads and I understand they're doing by payload, you have to haul a load, the only thing to do that then is cut the speed,” said Marquart.

Hall said if they do go ahead on the project, it will take four to five months just to do the base strengthening.