Area roads continue to take a poundingAs oil activity ramps up in southwest North Dakota, heavy truck traffic is also picking up, with more overweight vehicles on the road and one road official says it is becoming difficult to keep up with constant maintenance.
As oil activity ramps up in southwest North Dakota, heavy truck traffic is also picking up, with more overweight vehicles on the road and one road official says it is becoming difficult to keep up with constant maintenance.
“It’s taking its toll,” said Mike Buresh, road foreman in the Manning area. “All our roads are getting pretty well beat up.” Buresh said the department has hired more employees to keep up with constant repairs and maintenance.
“It’s never-ending,” Buresh said. “We can’t keep up to be honest with you.”
Sgt. Danny Haugen of the North Dakota Highway Patrol, said the department is detecting and stopping many more overweight trucks in Dunn County.
Haugen said troopers are watching for overweight vehicles and while the department will check other roads, the primary concern is Highway 22.
Dunn County Sheriff Don Rockvoy, said Dunn County truck traffic “seems to be more and more everyday.”
Rockvoy said his department has been able to catch “a couple pretty significant overloads,” but for the most part, most truck drivers are doing fairly well.
“We’ve got some considerables that have been anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 pounds over gross weight or axel weight,” Rockvoy said.
Dickinson officials are starting to take note of the increased local traffic.
Stark County Sheriff Clarence Tuhy said the department is starting to see more activity, anticipating truck traffic to pick up south of Highway 10 as more oil well locations are expected to be drilled.
At an Aug. 16 Dickinson City Commission meeting, Dickinson Police Department Chief Chuck Rummel said while the NDHP will enforce weight limits within city limits, more enforcement is needed.
Rummel said the NDHP has agreed to work with the DPD to educate officers in weight limitations.
“We are presently exploring the idea of enforcing, of an ordinance that would enforce the weight limitations, for the city to enforce them, for us to,” Rummel said.
There are officers available to be trained and needed equipment such as a scale, is also available, he said. “I really feel that this is kind of an important issue now to get a handle on,” Rummel said. “There is a large volume of truck traffic through Dickinson and our roads are seeing its toll so we just want to ensure that they stay within their limitations and enforce that.”
Bill Fahlsing, the city’s public information officer, said the city is presently discussing truck routes and in an effort to decrease in-town truck traffic, officials are also exploring the option of moving a city-owned water depot located on Broadway, where truck activity has exploded.
No site has been identified and no dates for official discussion have been set, Fahlsing said, citing it as an “ongoing discussion.”
But, additional truck traffic in town is not cause for concern just yet. “It appears that the trucks driving in town are driving on roads that have been designed for higher truck traffic such as
States, West Broadway, (Highway) 22,” Fahlsing said.
Thus far, in-town road damage is being caused by construction in developing areas, he said..