Williston Bypass Opens | VideoEvan Kruegel | 8/23/2012
"I love this, I`ve got to speak up because there`s a truck bypass behind me!”, Said Governor Jack Dalrymple.
Mayor Koeser agrees.
"Every time a truck goes by here I internally smile that that`s one less truck. And it`s not like we don`t like the oil industry, we love them, but it`s so nice when they go around here instead of going through town”, Said Williston Mayor Ward Koeser.
The bypass officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning. The whole project was completed in less than six months, not bad for a 16-mile road.
"We got the letter from the county commission and the city of Williston that this was the route they wanted to use. That letter was dated February 7th. Design was completed in March, bidded in April, construction began in May, and here we are Today. That`s pretty quick by all standards”, Said NDDOT Director Francis Ziegler.
Fast-tracking the project was a priority for DOT officials, who have witnessed a 300% increase in truck numbers, in just four years.
"There were 9000 vehicles a day on that route between Williston and highway 85 South in 2008. Today, there are over 28,000 vehicles a day. So in that short of time, the traffic has picked up that much, so it became very imperative that we move forward with this bypass”, Said Ziegler.
The project was funded directly through North Dakota`s new county and township road reconstruction program, saving local money to be allocated elsewhere.
"This is pretty unusual for the state to step up for 100% of the funding, but this is the times that we`re in, this is the situation were in. We cannot expect local political subdivisions to cover every cost in this tremendous period of growth we`re experiencing in northwest North Dakota”, Said Gov. Dalrymple.
The bypass is still deemed `temporary`, as officials look at ways to move it a few miles closer to town. But for the next few years, this bypass will divert thousands of trucks from passing through town.