Bowman planning truck relief routeBowman is preparing to send trucks around the town in 10 years, officials said.
Bowman is preparing to send trucks around the town in 10 years, officials said.
“It’s something to at least be thought about for a future truck route,” said City Auditor Judy Pond. “It’s nothing like we are going to go out and buy the land and get it all put in place.”
Bowman City commissioners are updating their comprehensive plan, which hasn’t been revised since 1982, Pond said.
Part of the plan includes a truck reliever route.
Traffic has become a concern in Bowman, but the traffic counts are not high enough to warrant a reliever route, James said.
“They are long-range type plans, and it just seems, like, it would … make good sense to explore that,” said Commission President Lyn James. “That doesn’t mean we are ready at this time to even address it, but we at least need to start that dialogue and start exploring things.”
U.S. Highway 85’s traffic has been growing for several years and has increased in Bowman due to an oil boom in western North Dakota, said Cal Klewin, Theodore Roosevelt Expressway executive director.
“It shows an alternate way of moving some of the freight movements or trucks specifically through a community,” he said. “I do know that being here in Bowman and living here all my life that we are at the junction of two U.S. highways, 12 and 85. We have a good location for traffic, and it has been great for a lot of economic development potential.”
There are 50 to 90 trucks sitting at the truck stop each night at the Highway 12 and Highway 85 junction, he said.
The city is split by a railroad. There are three crossings, including a bridge that takes Highway 85 over the tracks.
“We’re just trying to be proactive as long as we have the opportunity to,” she said. “The other communities north of us didn’t have that opportunity because things happened so fast.”
While the city is seeing “serious impacts,” the area does not have the exploration that other counties may have. However, the city needs to plan, James said.
“If we didn’t do some planning, we wouldn’t be very responsible leaders,” he said.
When the city needs to make changes it will be prepared, James said.
“The legwork is done and we can get down to business quicker because it all takes so much time,” she said.
Klewin commended Bowman for taking the initiative to investigate a truck reliever route.
“A community needs to learn from other communities that have faced these issues with freight movement,” he said. “It should start at the local level.”