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Will Highway 85 see more improvements, another expansion?

One of the highways serving as a main artery for traffic through North Dakota’s oil patch might soon expand to four lanes, along with a possible bridge replacement, reports The Bismarck Tribune.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation said it plans to complete improvements on the southern stretch of Highway 85 from Watford City to Interstate 94, a 62-mile stretch of road. Also included in the plans is the possible replacement of the historic Long X Bridge crossing the Little Missouri River.

As reported by The Tribune, the department wants the public to express their concerns and voice their thoughts on any potential issues, a process which will help determine the purpose and need for the improvements. Currently there is no timeframe for construction on the project because an environmental impact assessment has begun only recently.

Improvements made to Highway 85 in other areas, though, are almost complete. The stretch going from north of Watford City to Williston has been undergoing improvements, and the four lane expansion is nearly done. A 13-mile bypass designed to divert regional truck traffic around the western edge of Williston was also recently completed.

Public meetings regarding the proposed project will be held on November 9, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Belfield City Hall, and on November 10, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Watford City Hall.

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