Actually it's going to be a five-lane, not a four-lane highway between Watford City and Williston. Think Odessa and Midland. The fifth lane will be the sporty lane. [See comment below regarding growth of Watford City over new decade: http://www.watfordcitynd.com/?id=10&nid=2004.]
For the past two years I wondered when the bridge issue would be addressed. The existing two-lane bridge would only become a choke point if the highway was widened to four lanes on both ends.
So, here it is in The Bismarck Tribune.
Some data points:
- key phrase: extraordinary expense and scope of new right-of-way that will be needed
- key phrase: extraordinary expense due to new bridge
- will be done in phases
- first phase: 25 miles, Watford City to Alexander (relatively easy by comparison to everything else)
- second phase: north of Alexander to "four-mile corner" west of Williston (north of the bridge); also about 25 miles
- second phase construction: to begin in summer of 2014
- existing bridge will serve while the new one is under construction (either to the west or east)
- Williston water plant sits on the east side of the existing bridge, on the north side
- the highway: two, 12-foot lanes running each direction with a continuous left-turn lane running down the middle
- 8-foot wide shoulders
- separate project: a bypass around the city of Alexander; route not yet selected