May 21, 2014

At long last bypass construction begins


By Jerry W. Kram

All New Town Mayor Dan Uran wanted was to see New Town’s Main Street fixed up. That was in 2007.

However, by the time all the plans and financing were lined up, it was 2010 and the Bakken Boom was in full swing. With 11,000 vehicles a day, including 3,000 trucks, and fixing up the street with all that traffic was going to be impossible. That’s when the city knew it would need a bypass to divert some of the traffic away from the center of the community. It took the city and North Dakota Department of Transportation three years before all the financial and regulatory hurdles could be overcome.

But on Thursday, May 15, after what seemed like a herculean task, a dozen shovels were shoved in the ground and the North Dakota Highway 23B Truck Reliever Route officially started construction. Uran thanked the NDDOT for working with the city to make the project possible.

"We couldn’t have done this alone," Uran said. "I appreciate the efforts of the DOT and state to make this a reality. This bypass will help tremendously with New Town’s economic development, but the most important thing is that it will increase the safety of our people. That’s the number one thing I’ve worried about all these years."


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