Weather Forecast


Dalrymple signs road bill to law

BISMARCK -- Highway construction will begin earlier than normal in North Dakota after Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed a bill Monday to appropriate $720 million for statewide highway and road improvement projects.

Sponsored by Sen. Ray Holmberg, R-Grand Forks, Senate Bill 2176 was "fast-tracked" through the legislative process to allow the construction season to begin earlier and get a jump on the state's unpredictable weather.

"It's a true testament to the Legislature who can move efficiently and nimbly to get money out to people building our roads," Dalrymple said Monday afternoon. "It's a great example of the expeditious work that can be done here when it's needed."

The bill appropriates $620 million for major highway projects, predominantly in oil-producing counties, and $100 million will be for cities, counties and township needs in non-oil-producing counties.

Grant Levi, interim executive director for the North Dakota Department of Transportation, said the department has seen a 50 percent increase in traffic over the past year throughout western North Dakota and 20 percent increase statewide.

Bit letting on some projects will begin Feb. 15.

Projects scheduled for the 2013 construction season include:

* Continued construction to convert U.S. Highway 85, between Watford City and Williston, into a four-lane highway.

* Roadway reconstruction on N.D. Highway 8.

* Additional roadway improvements along N.D. Highway 22.

* Reconstruction on portions of N.D. Highway 2.

* Resurfacing on U.S. Highway 52.

* Roadway improvements on N.D. Highway 1804.

* Roadway improvements on N.D. Highway 1806.