WATFORD CITY, N.D. - A bridge near Watford City has stood the test of time, but not oil-field traffic.
The 60-year-old Long-X Bridge on Highway 85 will be replaced with a newer one that’s being constructed right next to it. Crews are finishing up earth-work, and will start paving Friday. Workers say old bridge needs to come down because the area’s increased traffic has caused some issues and safety concerns.
“There’s 12-foot lanes on there, but hardly any shoulder or anything. Then with all the heavy commerce coming up this way, up into the Bakken, width and height restrictions were a big concern here. You can tell by looking at it, it’s been hit several times by over-size loads,” said Mike Fanelli senior project manager with Ames Construction.
The new bridge will be completed by July of 2021. It won’t have a truss, so large trucks can safely pass through. It will have four lanes, a median barrier, and a special underpass for wildlife. Some of the old bridge infrastructure will be re-assembled and preserved on a ranch near Bismarck, and the rest will be demolished, according to the Department of Transportation.