Several North Dakota Roads and Bridges In Need of Repairs
TRIP says North Dakota will need $2.5 billion to fix these roadways over the next five years
FARGO, N.D. — A new report says that many roads and bridges in North Dakota are in desperate need for repairs.
TRIP, a group that researches and evaluates data on transportation issues across the country estimates North Dakota will need $2.5 billion to fix up roads and bridges across the state over the next five years.
The need for infrastructure repair raises some concerns for agriculture groups.
“Most of our agricultural products in North Dakota are exported and they leave the state, so you’ve got to have the infrastructure to get them moving,” said Phil Murphy, the Legislative Liaison for the North Dakota Soybean Growers Association.
The bulk of the funding for infrastructure projects came from the state’s massive energy boom last decade.
As those profits start to plateau off, TRIP researchers say neglecting the rough roads will do more damage for North Dakota drivers.
“Vehicles on rough roads don’t last as long as as they should, they use more fuel, you’re going to have to get more routine repairs. We estimate the average motorist in North Dakota pays an additional $449 annually in the cost of driving on rough roads,” said Rocky Moretti, the Director of Research and Policy at TRIP.
14% of bridges across the state, including the Maple River Bridge north of Leonard, are listed as structurally deficient, and the state has plans to renovate these bridges throughout the next few years.
In the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, the North Dakota DOT lists all of the roads and bridges that need to be fixed over the next five years.
Living in Traill County, which has several bridges listed in the report, Murphy says fixing the roadways is an important step, even if it means tearing down a piece of history.
“Everybody’s bridge is really special to them, so it’s difficult to close bridges and it’s very expensive to maintain. When you do have to close a bridge, it’s painful, but we need to keep them safe,” Murphy said.
TRIP’s report also says that two thirds of North Dakota’s major urban roads are in poor or mediocre condition, with pavement conditions expected to deteriorate without state assistance.