State, Local Officials Dedicate New Overpass/Underpass in Williston
BISMARCK, N.D. – State and local officials today celebrated the completion of the US Highway 2 Overpass/ 18th Street Underpass in Williston and opened the new roadway to traffic for the first time. Ron Rauschenberger, representing Gov. Jack Dalrymple, as well as Sen. Rich Wardner, Williston Mayor Howard Klug, former Williston Mayor Ward Koeser and North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) Director Grant Levi attended today's ribbon cutting and spoke about the project's many benefits for Williston and the region.
"Helping western North Dakota address the impacts of rapid growth continues to be a priority for our state and this new overpass/underpass is another example of our commitment to meeting those needs and enhancing roadway safety," said Dalrymple. "This project is an important infrastructure investment for Williston and will provide a safer and more efficient roadway for both regional and local traffic."
The US Highway 2 Overpass/18th Street Underpass project was designed to create a separation between local and regional traffic, providing an overpass for regional traffic and an underpass for local traffic. In addition, pedestrian improvements have been added to the underpass, including sidewalks, landscaping and lighting on either side of 18th Street as part of the new construction. The $15 million project was funded entirely with state funds.
"This project is a beautiful project by the North Dakota Department of Transportation," said Klug. "Since I've been involved in this project from the beginning, I couldn't be more pleased for the citizens of Williston."
The majority of the work on US Highway 2 was completed in the fall of 2014. The final phase of the new 18th Street Underpass was completed this year. The new overpass reduces delays for approaching traffic and creates a greater separation for local traffic, while the underpass provides a local travel route for city residents, as well as sidewalks, lighting and landscaping for pedestrians.
"Williston has been greatly impacted with traffic growth over the last few years and the DOT is working closely with communities like Williston to help address the needs," said Levi. "This segment of US 2 has over 29,500 vehicles that travel it each day, making this project a priority for the DOT."
The 2013 through 2015 construction seasons are the largest road construction programs in state history, with over $800 million being bid out in roadway projects each year. In all, the state will invest about $2.7 billion to support the state's oil and gas region during the current biennium. The state commitment – more than twice the amount of the previous, two-year funding package of about $1.2 billion – includes funding for highway, county and township road improvements; water supply and water treatment projects and the development of affordable housing. In addition, the state plans to invest another $2.3 billion for roadway development and maintenance projects throughout the next biennium.