May 10, 2018

Reconnections

Bridge study hopes to reconnect communities, families

By Jerry W. Kram
Ron Hall has a family reasons for wanting to see a crossing across Charging Eagle Bay in the West Segment of the Fort Berthold Reservation.
In the 1970s, Hall’s father, Ed Hall, worked with then-tribal chairman Ralph Wells Sr. and North Dakota Senator Quentin Burdick to plan and seek funding for a bridge that would connect Twins Buttes and Mandaree and restore the connections between the communities and families of the Three Affilated Tribes that were sundered by construction of Garrison Dam. The plan was being considered for funding by Congress in the early 1980s, but fell through when both Wells and Burdick passed away.
Today, Ron Hall hopes to revive the project or perhaps a crossing that would reestablish the connection of the old Elbowoods bridge through a comprehensive regional infrastructure plan. A bridge feasibility study is one of eight infrastructure studies that are part of the Fort Berthold Comprehensive Regional Transportation plan (http://fortbertholdplan.org) that include studies on highways, ferry service, railroads, air service, powerlines and pipelines, among others.

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