August 2, 2012

“Moving rocks out of the way”

“Moving rocks out of the way”
State, city meet to get bypass back on track
By Jerry W. Kram

“Come hell or high water, I want to see construction on the bypass by next summer.”
Those were the words of North Dakota Department of Transportation Director Francis Zeigler at a meeting in New Town Wednesday with members of the City Council and the City Engineer Alan Estvold. The purpose of the meeting was to clear up some miscommunication that had introduced delays in the project.
“We need to clear up these issues and get everyone on the same page,” said Grant Levi, deputy director for engineering for the DOT and the primary spokesperson for the state at the meeting. “There has been a lot of miscommunication between everyone and that has created problems.”
The City of New Town has been paying for engineering work to plan the bypass with the idea that the project would be built with state and federal funds when the environmental, archeological and engineering permitting was complete. That arrangement may have contributed to the misunderstandings because the state agency was working with the federal regulators on the project while Estvold’s primary responsibility was to the city.
“For one thing, some of staff weren’t sure how to work with (Estvold) because he didn’t have an agreement with the state,” Levi said.


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