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Temporary truck bypass dedicated at Dickinson, N.D.

Photo shows traffic on temporary bypass around Dickinson, N.D. (Courtesy: KXMB)

The Associated Press

8/21/2014

DICKINSON, N.D. — A $40 million temporary bypass has begun routing traffic around the western North Dakota oil patch city of Dickinson.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple and other officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday for the 5-mile project connecting Interstate 94 to state Highway 22.

"If you can move off a significant portion of (traffic), especially trucks, that is obviously providing a tremendous amount of relief to the traffic in the city," Dalrymple said.

About 25,000 vehicles pass through Dickinson every day.

"Even the past few weeks with the bypass functioning, traffic just continues to grow," Mayor Dennis Johnson said.

Work on a permanent Dickinson bypass is expected to begin next summer, at an additional cost of $60 million, KXMB-TV reported (http://bit.ly/VGe9Er ). With a $29 million interchange also planned off I-94, the project cost will total $129 million.

Bypasses are becoming a common solution for oil patch communities to divert all but local traffic. Other cities with bypasses or planned projects include Williston, Watford City, Alexander, New Town and Killdeer.

"There's no question that in the coming few years, we're going to have to continue to make some very, very large investments in western North Dakota," Dalrymple said.

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