Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Moose Will Be Happy -- April 28, 2015

Heading north on US Highway 85 toward the Lewis and Clark Bridge across the Missouri River south of Williston.

This was a 2-lane highway for as long as I can remember, but then back in 2011 or thereabouts they widened the road to three or four lanes.

Now the road is back under construction, back to two lanes, and will be make a four-lane divided (I think) highway leading to the new bridge.

I didn't think they were going to start the new bridge until 2015 or 2016 based on earlier stories, but that recently changed. Local residents noted that one day there was no evidence of the new bridge being built, and then overnight, it seemed they were halfway across the river.

The moose will be happy. The Bismarck Tribune is reporting:
When Meriwether Lewis and William Clark crossed the Missouri River back in the day, they didn’t have to contend with the nearly 13,000 vehicles that cross it these days via the bridge named for the famed explorers.
But moose, deer and other wildlife do.
Part of the $300 million the North Dakota Department of Transportation has committed to upgrade U.S. Highway 85 between Williston and Watford City will include a first-of-its-kind wildlife underpass, or crossing. At least it’s the first of its kind in North Dakota.
Work on a portion of the project between Watford City and Alexander is already underway, but the bridge part of the job won’t be bid until sometime this spring.
An underpass is a better idea than simply putting up a moose sign inviting moose to cross the highway at designated points.

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