January 6, 2012

Governor’s visit boosts bypass

Governor’s visit boosts bypass
By Jerry W. Kram

Governor Jack Darymple made a tour of oil country before Christmas to see for himself the problems with roads and traffic. One of his stops was in New Town where he gave his support to a truck bypass, officially a “truck reliever route,” in a brief meeting with local officials.
New Town Mayor Dan Uran said the meeting was short, but the governor pledged his support for the project. In fact, he suggested the city move more quickly with the project than planned.
“We just talked a little bit about roads and the truck relief route,” Uran said. “It wasn’t much of a meeting. County Commissioner Dave Hynek was there and he talked about the county roads. It didn’t last long because he was in kind of a hurry.”
The project was planned to run north of North Dakota Highway 23 east New Town and connect with North Dakota Highway 1804 north of the city in it’s first phase. A second phase would loop from 1804 around the golf course and reconnect with Highway 23 east of the Four Bears Bridge. The project was split because the western part of the route will likely impact more wetlands and Army Corps of Engineers property. Uran said getting permits for the second phase could take several years. In a move the surprised Uran, Darymple suggested the city proceed with both phases immediately.
“The governor seemed to be in favor of a truck route,” Uran said. “That’s what I got out of the meeting.  He thought doing it all at once might be a better approach. I don’t know if that is feasible or not. We would certainly do it if we can get the money. But everyone is there with their hand out asking for money. That’s why we were asking just for phase one to start with.”


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