Highway 85 construction wraps up for yearA $10.6 million project near Long X Bridge on Highway 85 designed to make the busy road safer has wrapped for the year but is not finished, said Peggy Anderson, North Dakota Department of Transportation communications.
A $10.6 million project near Long X Bridge on Highway 85 designed to make the busy road safer has wrapped for the year but is not finished, said Peggy Anderson, North Dakota Department of Transportation communications.
“Next summer more pavement will be added costing $1.7 million,” Anderson said. There will not be construction over the winter.
Crews added turnouts in heavy traffic areas, graded it and laid the first layer of asphalt, said Gene Veeder, executive director for the McKenzie County Job Development Authority and Tourism Bureau, “which basically means another lane.”
The road is now open, Anderson said. “Crews stopped major construction last week, and will be finishing up this week by putting rumble strips on the center line and shoulders of the road.”
The project began in the spring and the end date was scheduled for mid-October.
“But considering the weather this summer and how close they were to meeting the deadline, I think the crews did a real nice job,” Veeder said, adding work was halted a few days because of storms.
Veeder said the project is ongoing because it is part of the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway.
“The long-term plan is to have an undivided four lane from Rapid City, S.D., to the Canadian line,” Veeder said.
The project began because of the amount of traffic on the road, including big trucks, and concern about travelers’ safety, said Rick Lawlar, McKenzie County Board chairman.
“There were a number of accidents, whether it was road-related, weather-related or other I couldn’t tell you, but we felt a need to do something about it,” Lawlar said. “The community and state were behind us. This project keeps the traffic flowing.”
NDDOT said the road is safe for winter travel, Veeder added, “The road is significantly safer, and there will not be construction on the road over the winter, but travelers need to remember it’s still a rugged area with high traffic and they need to pay attention.”