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Letter: 4-lane Highway 85 can’t stop at Watford City

As a Williston native with extended family in South Dakota, I am no stranger to Highway 85.

I’ve seen accidents and experienced the increased traffic. The potential we have as a state to build something great is now: a major north-south trade corridor that will transport goods, services, families and friends safely through western North Dakota.

The Theodore Roosevelt Expressway Association, a membership-driven organization with the mission of growing the Great Plains region through corridor development, marketing and trade promotions, has the vision.

Their current resolution showing support to the North Dakota Department of Transportation to continue Highway 85 four-lane improvements south of Watford City has gained the endorsement of cities, counties, economic development corporations, private business and individuals.

I applaud the governor, the NDDOT and state lawmakers during the past biennium that allocated $2.8 billion to the NDDOT budget with $1.5 billion coming back to western North Dakota.

The four-lane improvements from Williston to Watford City, as well as various truck bypasses and overall road improvements have greatly improved the safety and efficiency of our transportation system. With that being said, we cannot stop there.

I urge everyone to go to the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway website ( and sign the resolution supporting the North Dakota Department of Transportation to proceed with plans to four-lane U.S. Highway 85 between Watford City and Belfield.

This resolution is good for the region, state, neighboring communities and everyone who utilizes Highway 85.

Shawn Wenko,