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05/25/2024 NDDOT

NDDOT Director Outlines Western ND Work
Flex Grants, Hwy 85 Four-Lane, Marley Crossing

The bright future for North Dakota's oil industry was reflected this week in a presentation by ND Department of Transportation Director Ron Henke, who provided an update on major road construction projects in western North Dakota at this week's Energy Transportation Roundtable.

Henke explained NDDOT's effort to persuade the legislature to create a Flexible Transportation Fund. He said the $222.5 million put into the fund can be spent off the state highway system, supporting projects in counties, cities and townships throughout the state. The department awarded 66 grants totaling $84 million earlier this year. But Henke said the best part of the fund is that it will receive a continuing appropriation from the legislature.

Click here to listen to Henke's comments.

Henke also provided an update on the effort to four-lane the entire length of Highway 85 between Watford City and Interstate 94 (click here to see map). He said the piece between Watford City and the LongX Bridge will be completed this year, and the state has received a $55 million federal grant for the stretch from about six miles south of the bridge, south to the junction with Highway 200. Henke said because construction is so expensive in the rugged terrain south of the bridge, the state had decided to skip over it for now.

Click here to listen to Henke's comments.

NDDOT was directed by the legislature to come up with a plan to complete the widening of Highway 85 to the Interstate, and must submit its findings by August 1.

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