Theodore Roosevelt Expressway
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The ND Department of Transportation (NDDOT) and local officials celebrated the long-awaited opening of the new Long X Bridge to traffic today. 

NDDOT Director Bill Panos along with other state, federal and local officials were on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new bridge.

The project included a complete bridge replacement, highway construction and the addition of a wildlife crossing built under Highway 85 south of the bridge. The new bridge is a concrete girder bridge and has four, 12-foot driving lanes with a median in the center. The new bridge will accommodate larger, wider truck loads than was previously capable on the old bridge. 

“The state of North Dakota invested $37.4 million to transform the Long X Bridge into a safe and accessible passageway,” said Panos. “US Highway 85 and this bridge are essential to transportation movement in western North Dakota.” 

Cal Klewin, Executive Director of the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway Association, which promotes improvements on Highway 85, said the bridge opening was "exciting," and said efforts will continue to improve safety and widen other sections of the highway. Klewin provided an update on the project in a presentation to this week's virtual meeting of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance.

Currently, the bridge is open to two lanes of traffic. Contractors will work for the next year to dismantle and remove the old bridge to the west. Motorists will see final construction elements taking place as work continues on final phases of the project. The Long X Bridge will be fully open to four lanes of traffic once all work is completed in the summer of 2021. Approximately 4,200 vehicles travel daily over the bridge located about 15 miles south of Watford City.

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