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New routes for trucks: Dickinson Commission looks to designate roads for oilfield traffic

The Dickinson City Commission is once again considering designating truck routes throughout the city as work continues on the interim bypass running northwest from Interstate 94 to Highway 22.

A resolution creating truck routes is expected to go before the commission at its August 18 meeting.

The bypass directing truck traffic west of the city will become part of the proposed truck route. City engineer Craig Kubas said at a commission meeting Monday that he expects the bypass, which is just one of several North Dakota Department of Transportation projects underway in western North Dakota, could be open to traffic in about six weeks.

The I-94 business loops, 30th Avenue West, Interstate 94, and parts of State Avenue South, Eighth Street Southwest, Ninth Avenue Southeast and Villard Street will be established as truck routes, according to the proposed resolution; traffic will be diverted around the city and connected to the bypass.

Highway 22 from Interstate 94 to Broadway Street will remain a “no-trucks allowed zone.”

The stretch of Highway 22 running south of the interstate saw an average of 465 commercial trucks a day in 2013, according to the DOT, and a total annual daily traffic count of 2,720.

“We hear a fair amount of comment about trucks in general in town,” Commission President Dennis Johnson said.

Trucks delivering or picking up materials and merchandise will be able to drive along city roads not part of the designated route, but Johnson said that the ordinance will primarily serve to take trucks off of residential roads not meant to carry that much weight.

“When you see a double-tank set up going through a residential area, you know they’re not making a local delivery,” he said.

A formal public hearing will be held before the commission acts on the resolution, city attorney Matt Kolling said. The commission will also consult with trucking companies to get their input on the routes, he said.

“I’m not sure city staff have had those discussions with them (yet),” Kolling said. “We expect to do that in the future.”

Johnson said the commission hasn’t formally spoken with companies that run trucks since it last discussed truck routes a few years ago.

“There was a fair amount of dialogue then,” he said. “They want to find ways to go through Dickinson, too. It’s too congested.

“There are a lot of good reasons to try and get these bypasses constructed,” he said.