Hwy 22 to open Friday, unpaved bypass completeHighway 22 north of Killdeer is expected to be open this Friday after excess moisture and a landslide made the road a hazard in late May, one Department of Transportation official said.
By: Klark Byrd, The Dickinson Press
Highway 22 north of Killdeer is expected to be open this Friday after excess moisture and a landslide made the road a hazard in late May, one Department of Transportation official said.
DOT Dickinson District Engineer Larry Gangl said a temporary bypass about 19 miles north of Killdeer will be completed this week and car and truck traffic will be permitted on the unpaved two-lane road Friday.
The bypass project was in response to an exceptionally wet spring season that left the road sagging with crumbling pavement.
Gangl said it has been an inconvenience for many travelers, but there has been a general understanding from the public.
“I think because of the wet conditions people really didn’t get concerned,” he said. “This is a natural occurring phenomenon.”
The road will not be paved until fall because there is a chance it will settle and the project requires fine grading, Gangl said. However, he added it was important to get the road open as quickly as possible.
“There is a lot of traffic, and a lot of people that travel the road,” he said, adding that it is a major means of transportation for oil activity in the area. “Any more extensive repairs would have kept it closed for a very long period of time.”
The bypass will be used until a permanent relocation project can be completed next construction season, Gangl said.
“We haven’t determined the exact location,” Gangl said. “Moving approximately 200 to 300 feet west (of the existing road) gets it out of the current slide plain.”
Dunn County Emergency Manager Denise Brew said when the road closed it took a toll on emergency response.
“Our ambulance response has been non-existent since the road went down,” she said, adding that Dunn County has been unable to respond to areas like McKenzie Bay and Skunk Bay. “McKenzie County has been doing double coverage.”
Brew added that businesses in Killdeer have also been affected.
“I have heard comments that their customers and intake has dropped quite a bit,” she said.
Killdeer Police Officer Justin Hill said things have been “kind of quiet” since the road was shut down, but he expects a change.
“Once 22 opens up traffic will pick up a lot,” he said, adding that traffic will resume the level before the road closed.
As the bypass job finishes up another project will be underway, Gangl said.
“We have a reconstruction project just north of Killdeer,” he said. About 13 miles of road will get new pavement and wider shoulders, with turning lanes added at some locations, Gangl said.
“It is a major project for us,” Gangl said, adding that it will take all of this year’s construction season to complete.
Flaggers and pilot cars will be used and motorists can expect slight delays, Gangl said.