NDDOT Moves to Replace Highway 85 Bridge
Friday, May 11, 2018

NDDOT Moves to Replace Highway 85 Bridge

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) on widening Highway 85 from Belfield to Watford City is now available for public review. The ND Department of Transportation will take comment on the document until June 25.

NDDOT has scheduled public hearings on the DEIS May 29- 31 in Belfield, Fairfield and Watford City.  

One of the key questions is what to do with the historic Long X Bridge across the Little Missouri River south of Watford City. It could be adopted and moved, or razed, or set aside while another bridge is built near the same location.

McKenzie County Economic Development Coordinator Daniel Stenberg, whose family goes back several generations in the county, said the bridge is part of the social and cultural history of the county. He said there is emotional connection to it, but four-laning Highway 85 and replacing the bridge would be a "huge benefit for Watford City," he said.

"It is a historical landmark," he said. "It would be great to connect it with the Maah Daah Hey trail and make it accessible like the Fairview Lift Bridge."

Cal Klewin, Executive Director of the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway Association (Hwy 85) believes the old bridge is one of the biggest impediments to efficient freight transportation on one of the busiest highways in the state.

NDDOT announcement of Long X Bridge adoption is here. NDDOT project overview is here.

Click here for the Amy Dalrymple story about the bridge.