October 8, 2015

DOT seeks input on finishing bypass


By Jerry W. Kram

The original plans for the New Town Highway 23 Bypass, or Truck Reliever Route, called for the bypass to avoid the city completely. However, practical concerns made it necessary to divide the project into two sections and complete the northeast, or "23B" segment of the bypass first.

The City of New Town started planning on building a bypass more than four years ago, when it became obvious that there was too much truck traffic through the city to do the planned renovation of Main Street in New Town. The city began the process of getting permits for the project, but it soon became evident that the project would be more than the city could afford. The North Dakota Department of Transportation stepped in and took over planning in 2013.

One of the decisions made early on was that the northeast segment of the bypass, connecting North Dakota Highways 23 and 1804 would be completed first. It was thought that permitting for the northwest segment, which would have to thread its way around or through the Edgewater Golf Course and Army Corps of Engineers land could take years to permit. Truck traffic in now directed away from Main Street but still continues down Highway 1804 between highly trafficked residential areas that include the baseball diamond and rodeo grounds.

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