Tribal concerns will delay start of construction
By Jerry W. Kram
Concerns of the Three Affiliated Tribes will delay the start of construction on the North Dakota Highway 23 truck reliever route or bypass, possibly pushing the completion of the project into the 2014 construction season.
According to New Town Mayor Dan Uran, the North Dakota Department of Transportation was supposed to let bids for the project on Friday, June 28. He was informed by the DOT that the Three Affiliated Tribes had brought up concerns with the project that will delay the bid letting for an undetermined amount of time.
Tribal Chairman Tex Hall said he was asked to sign off on the project last week but that there were unresolved questions about the project.
“The first thing I asked was how far the road will be from the Elbowoods clinic,” Hall said. “It was just over 500 feet, and I said, ‘We have a problem right there.’ The tribe has a 2,500 foot setback, and we are planning on expanding the clinic in the future. There were also some other problems that need to be resolved.”
Hall said he believes the tribe’s concerns can be resolved if some kind of barrier is built between the bypass and the clinic. That would cut down on noise problems and also prevent some accidents.